Label: Earth Day 2012

April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day, everyone! Your Earth Day Promises are wonderful. Anyone who reads your writing for the past 22 days on this blog is sure to feel good about the prospects for our environment, and the future of our planet! 

 

The winners were randomly chosen by a true random number generator on the website www.random.org. First we listed all the entries in order of when they were received. Then we used the random number generator to pick the winners from among the hundreds of entries.

The "individual student" winner was actually a pair of students who wrote, so they will each win a personally autographed copy of my book EARTH: OUR PLANET IN SPACE. Those winners are Baylee Y. and Austin P., from Mrs. Stewart’s class at Midway Elementary in Holt, Michigan. Baylee and Austin wrote:

 

Survival of Polar Bears is threatened by the melting of the Arctic ice because polar bears eat a lot of food and the more the ice melts the less food Polar bears have to eat. Global Warming has been around since 1995 so you should care now, not later. Global Warming doesn’t only affect animals, it also affects humans. Polar bears are threatened by Global Warming.  

 

The second prize goes to the student who uploaded a photograph of his poster, called "Promise Island." This student is a homeschooler from Ohio named Will B., and Will will receive a personally autographed copy of my book BUTTERFLIES. He wrote:

I promise to recycle with my dad.  I promise to not run the water when I brush my teeth.  And I promise to sleep my computer when I am not using it to save electricity.  Thank you.

 And finally, I asked classes to write and tell me their Earth Day Promises, and I was so pleased to receive many great entries! The randomly selected winning class entry was one of Mrs. Houck’s second grade library classes at JB Blayton School in Williamsburg, Virginia. When Mrs. Studdard’s class was in the library, they came up with this list:

~ using water bottles that can be reused instead of plastic water bottles.

~ picking up trash that we see outside.

~ plant a tree to help clean up our atmosphere.

These are excellent promises, and for making them, Mrs. Studdard’s class has won a free Skype session. I can’t wait to "meet" you all over Skype!

 

We had a number of schools whose students entered often, and one school, in particular, posted many more entries than any other. We decided to add one more winner, to recognize the participation by all the students from Mrs. Maggio’s Library Classes at James Fallon School in Wayne, New Jersey.

Ryan A. was the randomly chosen winner from this class, and he will also win a personally autographed copy of EARTH: OUR PLANET IN SPACE. Ryan wrote:

This Earth Day I promise to re-use paper and recycle plastic bottles.

 

Thank you, again, to everyone who wrote in with your Earth Day Promises. You have made Earth Day 2012 very special, indeed.

Take a moment to reflect on Earth Day today, and what it means to you. If you have a few minutes, go back to April 1 on my blog, and read all the student "promises" which were posted as comments on the stories between April 1 and today. I guarantee you that you will be inspired by the hundreds of commitments to protect and honor our home planet. 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: School Visits, Contests, Kids Write, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 20, 2012

Another Earth Day is almost here! This Sunday, April 22, we will celebrate Earth Day and take a moment to reflect on the elegant beauty of our planet. And we will think about how to protect it for future generations.

My wife, Liz Nealon, and I do many things year round to help reduce our impact on the environment around us. We recycle, we plant trees to help cleanse the air, grow our own vegetables so that we can "eat local" as often as possible and eat meatless meals a couple of times a week. We use fluorescent light bulbs and drive a car that reduces our carbon emissions. These are all good choices that most people can make not just on Earth Day, but every day.

But I think I can do more. So, my Earth Day promise is not only to love our home planet, but also to keep writing, visiting schools, talking with students and doing everything I can to inspire my readers to take action on behalf of our planet, Earth.

Because, as a reader named Jackie wrote on my blog last year, "it takes one step at a time and if we start now the Earth will get better sooner. If we don’t start….who will?"


This is your last chance to enter Seymour Simon’s YOUR EARTH DAY PROMISES contest. Prizes include personally autographed books and a free classroom Skype session with Seymour. Click here for details about how to enter. Tomorrow, Saturday, is the last day!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(4) Comments  •   Labels: Author Study, Seymour Simon, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 19, 2012

It is Cool Video Thursday, and in honor of Earth Day we are showing the video of GREEN, the new book from my friend and fellow author, Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

In this book Laura, who is a Caldecott and Geisel Honor Book author, wonders: How many kinds of green are there? She answers her own question with a celebration of all the greens around us, including the lush green of a forest on a late spring day, the fresh, juicy green of a just-cut lime, the incandescent green of a firefly, and the vivid aquamarine of a tropical sea.

This is a picture book, but it is most definitely NOT just for little kids. It celebrates the beauty of our planet in so many innovative and surprising moments, I feel sure that anyone of any age would enjoy it.

Press play below to see a video preview of this beautifully illustrated book, GREEN.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(17) Comments  •   Labels: Earth Day 2012, Reviews   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 18, 2012

 

Good morning, and welcome to Writing Wednesday, where every week there is a new opportunity to publish your creative writing on the Seymour Science blog. This week, in honor of Earth Day, we are giving you a sneak preview of Seymour Simon’s upcoming book, SEYMOUR SIMON’S EXTREME EARTH RECORDS! After you read this excerpt, we’re going to ask you to do your own descriptive writing, and imagine what it would be like if you could visit the Coldest Place on Earth! 

 

 


From SEYMOUR SIMON’S EXTREME EARTH RECORDS:

     

     When you step off the plane onto the rocky ice, you will immediately struggle with challenges that will last anywhere from one to eight weeks, as you acclimate yourself to the coldest place on Earth, Vostok Research Station in Antarctica.

     Vostok Station is a lonely, windblown outpost 621 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the South Pole. It holds the record for the lowest recorded temperature on Earth, -128.6ºF (-89.2ºC), recorded in July 1983. Twice a year, tractor-train (a train of tractor trucks) expeditions take as long as a month to crawl dangerously over the cracked, icy landscape carrying food and supplies to about a dozen Russian, American, and French scientists who live there during the winter conducting a variety of experiments.


 

Your assignment: Read the excerpt above from Seymour Simon’s new book, and think about what it would be like to be at the Vostok Research Station. How would you feel? What would you see around you? Or hear all around you? Write at least three sentences that use your own words to describe a visit to the Coldest Place on Earth

When you are finished writing, click on the yellow "Comments" at the bottom of this post to enter your writing!

 


Note to Educators: Today’s Writing Wednesday exercise is designed to use in support of CCSS Writing Anchor Standard #9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

 

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, New Books, Common Core, Earth, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 17, 2012

When we celebrate Earth Day, we are also recognizing the beauty of the plants and animals that share our planet with us.

  This tiny creature (less than 3 inches/80 mm long) is known as the Sea Butterfly (Clione). It was photographed swimming in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea, underneath the Arctic ice. Isn’t it magnificent?

Students often ask me how I get all my photographs of big, dangerous animals.

Sometimes, it is just as tricky to get a photo of a tiny, harmless animal like this one. The photographer who shot this was a scientist exploring life in the ocean deep, and she (wearing a wet suit to keep her warm) was also swimming in the frigid waters underneath the Arctic ice pack ice. Brrrrrrrrrrr! 

       

Photo: Elisabeth Calvert/NOAA

 


Take a digital photo showing an Earth treasure around your school or home that makes you appreciate our planet. Click on Send Us Photos/Video (in the yellow bar at the top of every page) and follow the instructions to upload it to the website. We will publish your Earth Day photos and videos on Seymour’s blog, and each person or class that uploads a photo will be entered into the drawing to win a personally autographed book from Seymour Simon!

   

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(7) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Oceans, Cool Photo, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 13, 2012

My readers love animals, and when you all write about Earth Day, you often write about the fact that you wish you could help animals. You can, if you look for opportunities in your own community.

  Tom and Debora Mann, who live in a small town near Jackson, Mississippi, are helping animals in their community. On most rainy nights in the spring there, dozens of salamanders try to cross a road, moving from their winter burrows to ponds on the other side, where they will mate. The salamanders can only mate once a year, so they are determined to cross that road. And unfortunately, there is traffic on that road and cars run over the salamanders in the dark.

The Manns worked with local police to be sure they could safely help the salamanders. The police department has installed two flashing lights and a lower speed limit sign at the salamander crossing, and drivers get a ticket for breaking the speed limit. On rainy spring nights you will find the Manns, along with other volunteers, scooping salamanders into plastic containers, carrying them safely across the road to their breeding pond.

 

Thomas Mann, who is a zoologist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, would like to see the state close this two-mile stretch of highway for the salamander breeding season each year. But until that happens, he, his wife and a handful of other volunteers are out there on rainy nights, trying to make a difference.

What kind of animals need help in your community? Could your local ASPCA use volunteers? Is there a wildlife sanctuary anywhere nearby? Or you could call your local Cooperative Extension to find out where volunteers are needed. Work with your family or your teacher, and I bet you will find a way to help!

Photos: James Patterson/The New York Times 


Be part of Seymour Simon’s celebration of Earth Day 2012 by commenting on blog stories like this one, and telling Seymour about YOUR Earth Day Promises! How are you going to make a difference for the Earth? What will you do to make it be Earth Day / every day? Each time you leave a comment between today and April 22, you will be entered into a drawing to win a free, personally autographed book from Seymour Simon. So get started by clicking "comments" below, and tell us about Your Earth Day Promises!

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(12) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Animals, Conservation, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 13, 2012

One of our regular "Writing Wednesday" authors is Will B., from Ohio. 

This week Will sent us a link to his wiki, where he has made a poster called Promise Island. And he wrote with his Earth Day Promises:

1. I promise to recycle with my dad. 

2. I promise to not run the water when I brush my teeth. 

3. And I promise to sleep my computer when I am not using it to save electricity.  

These are all excellent Earth Day promises, and good habits to practice year round. And thanks for the poster, Will - it illustrates what is happening all around the country. Lots of classes are making posters to inspire their classmates and people around them to reduce, reuse and recycle. Any one else who want to send photographs, we would love to see them!


         

         

Take a digital photo showing an Earth treasure around your school or home that makes you appreciate our planet. Click on Send Us Photos/Video (in the yellow bar at the top of every page) and follow the instructions to upload it to the website. We will publish your Earth Day photos and videos on Seymour’s blog, and each person or class that uploads a photo will be entered into the drawing to win a personally autographed book from Seymour Simon!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(5) Comments  •   Labels: Kids Write, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 12, 2012

Each one of us has a Carbon Footprint. That means that we can each figure out how much CO2 (carbon dioxide - a bad greenhouse gas) is created by the choices we make every day. How we travel, how we use electricity, how we dispose of our garbe, even what we eat adds to CO2 emissions.

Are you wondering what your carbon footprint is? Click here to use the Zero Footprint Kids’ Calculator, where you can find out your number. And as you answer the questions, you will learn a lot about the choices you can make to do better.

Ready? Set? Click and calculate!

 

 















Be part of Seymour Simon’s celebration of Earth Day 2012 by commenting on blog stories like this one, and telling Seymour about YOUR Earth Day Promises! How are you going to make a difference for the Earth? What will you do to make it be Earth Day / every day? Each time you leave a comment between today and April 22, you will be entered into a drawing to win a free, personally autographed book from Seymour Simon. So get started by clicking "comments" below, and tell us about Your Earth Day Promises!

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Global Warming, Conservation, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 11, 2012

Good morning, and welcome to Writing Wednesday, where every week there is a new opportunity to publish your creative writing on the Seymour Science blog. This week, we are asking you to read an excerpt from Seymour Simon’s book GLOBAL WARMING, research your own facts and explain in your own words the point that he is making.

 


From GLOBAL WARMING, by Seymour Simon:

     Global warming has changed the feeding patterns and behaviors of polar bears, walruses, seals and whales. It may even impact their surval.

     Polar bears live only in the Arctic. They are completely dependent on the sea ice for all their life needs. In the winter, females give birth to cubs. The mother polar bear eats little or no food during the winter.

     As spring approaches, the bear family makes a run onto the sea ice to feed on seals, their main source of food. If the ice melts, their food supply will be cut off and this will impact their survival.

 


Your assignment: Can you find facts to support what Seymour Simon is saying on this page? Use other books in your library, articles about global warming from Seymour’s blog, or other Internet sources to learn about the melting of the Arctic ice. Write a few paragraphs that use your own words and information that you have found to either argue for or against the idea that the survival of polar bears is threatened by the melting of the Arctic ice.

When you are finished writing, click on the yellow "Comments" at the bottom of this post to enter your writing!

 


Note to Educators: Today’s Writing Wednesday exercise is designed to use in support of CCSS Writing Anchor Standard #1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

 

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(19) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Animals, Climate Change, Global Warming, Conservation, Common Core, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 10, 2012

This endangered, green tree python was rescued and given a new, zoo home after smugglers tried to sneak it from its natural habitat in South Africa to be sold as a pet in Germany.

Illegal animal trafficking is an increasing problem for exotic animals like these snakes, because some people will pay a lot of money to have them for their private collections. Snakes are smuggled in cloth bags, and often don’t survive the trip.

Airport screenings are getting much tougher, and governments around the world are cracking down on smugglers, who are one of the main predators that threaten these endangered creatures.

 

Photo: Jan Woitas / EPA


Be part of Seymour Simon’s celebration of Earth Day 2012 by sharing your own photographs! Take a digital photo showing an Earth treasure around your school or home that makes you appreciate our planet. Click on “Send Us Photos/Video” (in the yellow bar at the top of every page) and follow the instructions to upload it to the website. We will publish your Earth Day photos and videos on Seymour’s blog, and each person or class that uploads a photo will be entered into the drawing to win a personally autographed book from Seymour Simon!   

 

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(28) Comments  •   Labels: snakes, Conservation, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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