A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

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Write a Spring Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!


Celebrate National Poetry Month!

Countdown Commences (Spring Haiku) by Bette A. Stevens

Happy April and Happy National Poetry Month. Snow pack is still in meltdown stage here at the farmstead in Central Maine, but spring blooms will soon be appearing. Johnny-jump-ups (like the ones I photographed on the poster) are sure to be among the first blooms of the season. They’re one of those hardy native plants that bloom in abundance and pop up everywhere from early spring until the first hard freeze the next fall—hence the title and last line of the poem. This photo of last year’s blooms inspired me to write countdown Commences,  a spring haiku (Japanese-inspired, non-rhyming three-line: 5-7-5 syllable poem).

Countdown Commences

Haiku by Bette A. Stevens

Enchanting blossoms
Springtide emerging from earth
Countdown commences

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. Give it a try! 

Grab the kids, take out your pens, head into the great outdoors and get inspired!

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

(Haiku: m)

haiku

noun hai·ku \ˈhī-(ˌ)kü\

  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

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HAPPY WEED APPRECIATION DAY—I’m Celebrating”Milkweed for Monarch Butterflies”


Weed Appreciation Day, March 28—is on its way—and so are those amazing monarch butterflies! It’s the perfect time of year to plant milkweed to ensure the survival of these endangered butterflies as they embark on the journey north from wintering grounds in Mexico. My limerick tells a bit about the monarchs’ dependence upon milkweed. The photo of his female monarch (Danaus plexippus) on a milkweed plant (Asclepias syriaca) was taken in my garden in Central Maine, where milkweed plants flourish and monarchs can find the perfect leaves to lay their eggs under each summer. Read on to find out more about milkweed and the crucial relationship this native plant shares with monarchs and how you can help these endangered butterflies by planting milkweed in your own backyard.

Why Do Monarch Butterflies Need Milkweed?

  • Milkweed is the host plant for monarch butterflies. Monarchs have a dynamic relationship with plants in the milkweed family and are completely dependent on them for reproduction. Butterflies are the reproductive phase of their life cycle. Females lay their eggs on the undersides of milkweed leaves because when the eggs hatch and the caterpillars emerge, their only source of food is the foliage of milkweed plants. The growing caterpillars feed on the leaves until they are ready to form a chrysalis and metamorphose into adult butterflies.

Mating of monarch butterflies has begun and the orange and black butterflies are flying north. Along the way, females will lay eggs on milkweed plants, recolonizing the southern United States before they die. The first spring caterpillars will hatch and metamorphose into adults. These newly emerged monarchs colonize their parents original homes. Summer monarchs live only three to five weeks compared with the eight or nine months for overwintering adults. During the summer, three or four generations of monarch butterflies will emerge, and before summer ends there will be millions of monarchs all over the United States and southern Canada.

You can play an important role in the survival of  monarch butterflies by planting the correct native variety of milkweed in your yard or garden. Learn how to create a Monarch Waystation in your own backyard and report your monarch sightings too. Helping our monarch butterflies is a great service project for families, community groups and schools. Contact Monarch Watch (an educational outreach based at the University of Kansas): www.monarchwatch.org

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 adventure that follows the life cycle of a monarch butterfly; 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—coming-of-age story and family drama set in 1950s and 60s New England.

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Sky Stories (Haiku) by Bette A. Stevens


After three glorious days of 40 degree temperatures, the snow pack in the fields and front yard is beginning to melt at the farmstead in Central Maine. In fact, this was the first day I didn’t have to don ice cleats to walk safely down the driveway to the mailbox—the sun was shining and nary a cloud in the sky. By late afternoon the sky was telling another story. What stories are the skies telling you? ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

Here’s my latest haiku. See if you can write one too!

Sky Stories

Tales of winter’s end
Peek through darkening shadows
Spring’s silver linings

Discover more about how to write haiku and other poetry:

Find out more about author Bette A. Stevens and her books at http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

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#RRBC Spotlight Author Gracie Bradford talks about favorite sites and apps


I WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD ME

It is such a pleasure to introduce this “up and coming author,” Gracie Bradford, and her book about a child with brain cancer. The beagle, Lady Bird, takes on a leading role in this short story. Learn about the role of pet therapy in the healing process.

During her discovery journey and literary, educational adventure, Gracie relates that she stumbled upon software and websites that have proven to give a new meaning to work simplification. She used some of these in her business but discovered they could also be used with some of her writing projects. Most seasoned authors are already familiar with the apps and sites, but the “up and coming authors” may find some of these to be useful. She doesn’t use all, just those that she has the skill set to understand and can give a return on her investment. Although she confesses that she tends to gravitate towards the FREE stuff, she will invest in a few. It will be fun to hear about your favorite sites and apps. Leave your best in the COMMENT section.

Disclaimer: No fees received for recommending these resources nor is there an endorsement

https://evernote.com/

Use to organize research

https://yousendit-express.en.softonic.com/

Use to send large files

https://www.aweber.com/

Autoresponder

www.fiverr.com

Has a variety of functions; Can be used to hire someone to post articles or send out twitter tweets

https://www.upwork.com

Post a job, and they match your project with some freelancers

https://www.freelancer.com/

Post a job and receive a competitive bid from freelancers

https://www.aweber.com/

Autoresponder – An email marketing and automation platform for growing your business

https://www.getresponse.com/

Autoresponder – a marketing platform for growing your business

https://commun.it/growth

Autoresponder – tool used to grow your community

https://www.crowdfireapp.com/

Helps to grow your followers

https://www.shutterstock.com/

Royalty-free photos

Expect to see the 3rd book of the Lady Bird series late 2018 addressing Autism.

  • Pick up a copy of Gracie’s books at:

http://amzn.to/2gfLCEJ

  • Like and follow this author through the social media platforms below:

Blog: www.free1592.wordpress.com

Website: www.authorgraciebradford.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorgraciebradford/

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/graciebradford5/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iamxordinary

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gracie.bradford.58

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/authorgraciebradford/

Thanks for stopping by today to meet Gracie Bradford. Don’t forget to tell us about your favorite sites and apps in the comment section. ~Bette A. Stevens

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Celebrate National Puzzle Day with “The Tangram Zoo & Word Puzzles Too!” by Bette A. Stevens


Happy National Puzzle Day 2018! This celebration is held every year on January 29th. It’s an opportunity to reflect on those puzzles, games and even challenges in life that we embrace every day but sometimes take for granted. Puzzles also offer us a great way to spend quality time interacting with family. In fact, puzzles are an awesome way to celebrate any day! ~Bette A. Stevens

Looking for some awesome fun with the kids or grandkids? Need some quality ‘together time’ on a rainy day? Visit THE TANGRAM ZOO AND WORD PUZZLES TOO! (On sale at YOUR AMAZON for only $6.99) … for hours of creative learning and hands-on fun. Solve 18 puzzles and riddles, make your own tangram puzzle pieces; then write your own riddles and add your own animals to THE ZOO! Solutions and project ideas included.

Although, this [The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! by Bette A. Stevens] is a very clever and educational book for children, I appreciated the added bonus that an adult can sit down and enjoy it with the kids!~D.L. Finn, author

REVIEW

The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too! by Bette A. Stevens

January 2, 2018

Very Clever! 

I bought this book to give as a gift to my grandchildren. Reading through the book before giving it to them, I found it taught me a few things, too. First, I had no idea a tangram is a seven-piece puzzle with specific shapes. A pattern is provided to cut out and get started along with the history of it. There are many ways to put the pieces together, but the book supplies shapes to make– with clues or riddles as to what they are. Although, this is a very clever and educational book for children, I appreciated the added bonus that an adult can sit down and enjoy it with the kids! ~D.L. Finn, author

Ready to give Tangrams and Word Puzzles a try?

Here’s the handout the author uses with students.
Click the link or the image below.
Download, print and you’re ready to go…

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How to extend the attention span of your children.


Happy reading with the kids every day! http://www.4writer~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author http://www.writersandreaders.com 

Dayne Sislen Children's Book Illustration

Kids today are bombarded with video games as well as fast action cartoons and movies. Picture book publishers are requesting shorter and shorter picture books for young children. No wonder our children have problems keeping their minds focused on one thing for very long.

What can you do to help your kids have a longer attention span? My advice is not some new technical invention or app for your phone or tablet, but something easy and inexpensive that you can do in your own home.

SCBWI_Postcard_sm_sq_WP

You can extend your children’s attention span by reading to them.

What better way to show them you love them and help them at the same time. Kids love getting attention from their parents and grandparents. This one-on-one time without any distractions from phones or TV is important. Children can later illustrate the stories you read together so you have a visual reminder of the time you have…

View original post 140 more words

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Have an Amazing New Year! (+poem by Bette A. Stevens)


May your New Year be Amazing
as a Monarch Butterfly

May your days be blessed and beautiful

May your nights, sweet dreams supply

May your New Year be amazing

As a monarch butterfly

Wishing all of you and our amazing monarch butterflies…
“An Amazing New Year!”

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

All About Monarchs

Monarch butterflies offer an amazing view into the intricate nature of the wild. Their science name, Danaus Plexippus, Greek for “Sleepy Transformation,” gets part of the story right, but not the epic whole. International conservation efforts to protect and restore monarch habitat are ongoing. These efforts may help improve the near-endangered/endangered status of the species; but we, as ordinary citizens, can easily help the monarch butterfly recovery right in our own backyards and gardens. Find out more at the links below.

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