A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Archive for the ‘Homeschooling’ Category

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Write a Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!


Let nature inspire you…

Our rock garden at the Farmstead is singing. The columbine were so glorious this season they inspired me to write “The Choral Debut,”  a haiku (Japanese-inspired, non-rhyming three-line: 5-7-5 syllable poem). I hope The Choral Debut inspires you to get outdoors and let nature sing its songs to you. 

The Choral Debut

HAIKU by Bette A. Stevens

Rising with the sun

Pristine perennials join

The choral début

I enjoy 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’ve learned that kids of all ages love writing poetry and like me, 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. I invite you to give it a try. In fact, I’m working on a Maine haiku collection that sings of the seasons. 

Don’t be shy. Grab a pen and paper, get outdoors, 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:

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Inspiring Kids of All Ages—One Book at a Time—#GetCaughtReading


“The love of reading is a lynchpin for successful learning—for success in life. Kids learn to read best when adults take time to share their passion for books with them.” ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author.

One of the best ways to inspire kids to love to read is by reading aloud to them and talking with them about the books you share. We can all make a difference in the lives of the children around us when we #GetCaughtReading with the kids!

Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children of all ages

  • Expands vocabulary as they hear new words in context
  • Provides contextual examples for grammar and sentence structure that everyday conversation does not offer
  • Strengthens reading comprehension
  • Increases a child’s attention span
  • Teaches life skills associated with story themes and characters
  • Fosters family/generational/community communication.

Research has shown that children who come to school with a large vocabulary achieve more in school than those that have little familiarity with a wide range of words. Children are great listeners and imitators—they pay attention to what they hear. Reading aloud and discussing books with children is crucial to successful learning. Before children are reading on their own, a crucial part of their learning is based on imitating what they hear and observe.

Children are able to listen and comprehend content read to them two years above their actual reading level. Reading comprehension doesn’t catch up to a child’s listening comprehension level until eighth grade. When listening to adults read stories above their current reading level, a child’s vocabulary increases. This also provides an opportunity for listeners hear complete and complex sentence structure that is not offered in everyday conversation.

Children of all ages love to be read to by adults who are excited about books and reading. In fact, avid adult readers are walking, talking advertisements for books as they share their love of the written word with listeners. And, children enjoy talking about books with adults as much as the adults enjoy talking with them. When readers and listeners discuss characters and themes, their lives are enriched and family/generational communication skills are strengthened. A child’s story comprehension skills increase significantly as well. Reading aloud to children creates a win-win experience for everyone.

Where are the children?

In the U.S. alone there are about 15 million children living in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold—many of these children do not have books in their homes or adults who are available to read to them.

Where are these children? We’ll find them in homes, schools and libraries in villages, towns and cities in our own communities and across the globe. Local libraries and elementary schools are pleased to hear from those of us who are looking for the opportunity to share our love of reading with those who need it most—children of all ages, from all walks of life. Together we can change the world—one reader, one book, one book talk—one child or group of children at a time.

“So it is with children who learn to read fluently and well: They begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortlessly as young birds take to the sky.” ~William James

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 (Ages 5-11); The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource incorporating hands-on math, science and writing (Ages 6-12); and PURE TRASH (Ages 10-Adult), the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP (Ages 12-Adult)—coming-of-age story and family drama set in 1950s and 60s New England.

 

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3 Day Quote Challenge – Day Three


 

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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

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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The Origins Of English


Informative post with animated graphics from author Nicholas C. Rossis’s blog. FIND OUT how the English language evolved. It’s fascinating! ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

Nicholas C. Rossis

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Educator Claire Bowern and Director Patrick Smith have produced a great little film that explains the origins of English. As they explain, when we talk about ‘English’, we often think of it as a single language. But what do the dialects spoken in dozens of countries around the world have in common with each other, or with the writings of Chaucer? The Origins Of English traces the language from the present day back to its ancient roots, showing how English has evolved through generations of speakers.

Going Further Back

However, illustrator Minna Sundberg went even further back. She has captured in an elegant infographic a linguistic tree which reveals some fascinating links between different tongues, illustrating how most of the different languages we speak today can actually be placed in only a couple of groups by their…

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Sixty-six (66) 5-Star Reviews for Award-winning Picture Book AMAZING MATILDA!


MATILDA expertly as a cirus acrobat... 2016

About the book

This “Gem of a Tale” about a Monarch Butterfly teaches kids lessons in friendship, patience and persistence as AMAZING MATILDA transforms from egg to caterpillar to butterfly. (Children’s Picture Book/Ages 5-11).

Order your copies today:

AM Celebrate Season MATCHBOOK bas 2016

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New 5✰ Review + #1 Amazon Best Seller in ‘butterflies’ too!


AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens reached #1 on Amazon’s Best Seller ‘butterflies’ category during Earth Month 2017. This award-winning Monarch Butterfly adventure (Ages 4-11) is available in paperback ($9.49) and eBook ($3.99) versions. However, when you purchase the paperback, the eBook version can be downloaded for #free (Kindle Matchbook).

BUY “AMAZING MATILDA”  at YOUR AMAZON http://bit.ly/19Qr3Y0

Latest Book Review

AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch’s Tale  written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens

on April 20, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I love Matilda! Her story is wonderful! I recommend! For children and adults!

I love nature and animals. All animals. I love butterflies. When I saw Amazing Matilda, I had to buy and read it. Little Matilda is desperate to fly, but doesn’t know how. This is a wonderful and cute story about learning patience. It’s an encouraging book for children and adults alike. The story takes you from Matilda as a small caterpillar to her metamorphosis as a beautiful Monarch butterfly. A quick read, you’ll be done with it in no time at all.
I highly recommend this book to lovers of nature, animals and children of all ages from two to 100. It is beautifully yet simply illustrated.

Book Blurb

This “Gem of a Tale” about a Monarch Butterfly teaches kids lessons in friendship, patience and persistence as AMAZING MATILDA transforms from egg to caterpillar to butterfly. (Age 5-11).

Love Monarch Butterflies?

BEYOND THE   BOOK—find resources at your finger tips: Have fun and learn even more about Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ monarch butterflies by downloading Bette’s FREE Click here: FUN & LEARNING with Monarch Butterflies PDF where you’ll find:

  • Monarch Facts
  • Coloring Pages
  • Crafts
  • Gardening
  • Video: How to Make an Origami Butterfly
  • Butterfly Teacher Guide and so much more…
  • FIND OUT how you can help protect our Amazing Monarchs

Talking Books with the kids

Download Bette’s #FREE AMAZING MATILDA FINGER PUPPETS and “Get talking about books with the kids” CLICK HERE https://4writersandreaders.com/amazing-matilda-finger-puppets-free-download/

 Find out more about Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens and her books:

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