Label: Kids Write

May 8, 2013

I received this note today from students in Berlin, Wisconsin. They wrote:


We are studying about non-fiction author craft. We like your books. We like your photographs, your amazing facts, and interesting words. We were wondering what is your favorite book you have written?

Thank you,

Mrs. Graham’s First Grade Class 


Dear Mrs. Graham’s Class: 

Thank you so much for writing. I’m so pleased that you like my books, and that you think that I use interesting words. You are correct - choosing strong words that are very descriptive, or verbs that are full of action is very important if an author wants to make his or her story exciting.

I am afraid I cannot tell you what my favorite book is. That would be like a parent picking his favorite child. Generally, whatever book I am working on at the moment is my "favorite," because I get caught up in how fascinating each topic is. So right now, I am really loving EINSTEIN ANDERSON: SCIENCE GEEK, because that is the book that I have recently finished writing. You can even download a free chapter if you would like to try it out.

Did you know that there is a section on my website called FAQ? That stands for "Frequently Asked Questions," and it is full of all sorts of information about my books and my nonfiction writing. I think you might find some very useful details there while you are studying nonfiction author craft. Click here to read the answers to many questions that kids from around the world write and ask.

Thanks again for writing, and enjoy the end of the school year!

Seymour Simon

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Seymour Simon, Kids Write, FAQ   •  Permalink (link to this article)

May 2, 2013

We had a lot of fun yesterday as Mrs. Alaniz’s Class from Texas and Mrs. Ellefson’s class from Wisconsin tried to figure out a "Mystery Poem." We asked students to read a poem and guess what kind of animal the poet was writing about. By clicking on "Comments" down at the bottom of the blog, both classes told us that they liked the poem, and Mrs. Alaniz’s class figured it out! The poet’s "alarm clock that’s covered with furr" is a cat!
 
Thanks for your contributions to Writing Wednesday, everybody. That was fun! 
 
 
CAT KISSES By Bobbi Katz

Sandpaper kisses

On a cheek or a chin -

That is the way

For a day to begin!

 

Sandpaper kisses -

A cuddle, a purr

I have an alarm clock

That’s covered with fur.


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Animals, Cats, Kids Write, Poetry   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 16, 2013

 

 

Today, 9-year-old Will from Ohio writes a kids’ eye review of Seymour Simon’s upcoming new book, CORAL REEFS. It will be published simultaneously in hardcover, paperback and eBook editions on April 23. 

 


 

Hi my name is Will. I usually spend my days learning about the civil war, but I took this week to read and think about Coral Reefs by Seymour Simon. It was a wonderful book, filled with information about a different part of the planet. A part that I don’t get to be with very much.

My favorite part of the book was the colorful pictures. The book started off with a beautiful picture of the coral reef. It was filled with fish of all sorts, colorful corals and bright blue water.

I was also really interested in all the ways plants and animals protect themselves. One thing I learned that I never knew before was that some living things disguise themselves to hide from their predators. An example of this was the sponge that makes itself look like a animal. I liked the puffer fish the best because it has an interesting form of self-defense - making itself bigger and growing spikes.

This book made me want to learn more about oceans and the different life forms that live in them. I recommend Coral Reefs to people who are interested in fish, the ocean or sea plants. The pictures are beautiful and you will learn a lot!

Loved your book!

-Will

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(5) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, Coral Reefs, eBooks, Oceans, Kids Write, Conservation, Earth Day 2013, Reviews   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 11, 2013

I’m so excited about my new book SEYMOUR SIMON’S EXTREME OCEANS, which is being published in April. I loved writing this book because although the oceans are the largest space in the universe which is known to be inhabited by living things, they are still largely unexplored. There are fascinating things being discovered all the time below the ocean’s surface!

One of the nice things about being the author is that you receive a box of your new books so that you can see it before it is out in the stores. I sent a copy to my friend Hagan, who is 7-years-old and in the second grade. Here is his "advance review" of EXTREME OCEANS! 


 

 

Dear Seymour,

Your new book Extreme Oceans is awesome!  When my Mom showed me the cover, I was so excited to read it because of the pictures, especially the shark, on the front.  I couldn’t wait to see what was inside.  

I love the chapter, Deep, Dark, and Mysterious
 

I learned that at the bottom of the ocean when fish are red they look dark to their enemies and prey.  This is better than being silvery colored, because red doesn’t reflect the light at all.  I didn’t know at the bottom of ocean that the water pressure could blow up an animal if you brought it really quick to the surface.  That is crazy!  


I am going with my Mom and Dad to Alaska for spring break.  I would love to see a whale.  They are huge!  In your book, I learned about a fish even bigger than a whale.  It is called a whale shark and can grow up to be over 50 feet long and weigh 80,000 pounds.  I always thought sharks killed everything in the ocean, but the whale sharks only eat small sea animals from the water it takes into its big mouth.  They sound cool and nice too.  

This was an awesome book!  Thank you for giving it to me before anyone else.  

Love, Hagan

 

  

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, Oceans, Kids Write, Reviews   •  Permalink (link to this article)

February 26, 2013

Yesterday, I posted a story called "Mysterious Visitor in my Aquarium," about finding an unexpected living thing in my aquarium. I wrote about how I figured out what it is, and said that in my next post, I will tell you all what I am going to do about it.

Today, I heard from Mrs. Sposito’s class in Menands, New York. Her students are regular visitors here, and this is what they wrote:

Hello Mr. Simon,

            How many tentacles did the pest anemone have? What color was the anemone? We took a class survey and predicted that you would take the pest anemone out of your tank. We can’t wait to hear what you decided to do with the pest.

Your friends,

Mrs. Sposito’s First Grade Class

Menands School

 

Hmmmmm…..good questions. This is a picture of what it looked like. It is called an Aiptasia anemone, which probably came in as a "hitchhiker," on a rock or plant that I put in. It is a reddish brown color, but it is far in the back, behind some rocks, so I can’t say for sure how many tentacles it had.  

These creatures are not easy to remove. Stand by for the end of the story. I think you will be surprised to hear how I solved this problem!

  

Photo: Debbie Hauter

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: SeeMore Explorers, Coral Reefs, Oceans, Kids Write   •  Permalink (link to this article)

January 11, 2013

Ms. Miele from Village Park Elementary School in Pennsylvania brought me wonderful thank you cards, with student writing and drawings, after my visit there this week.

We don’t have enough space here to share them all, but I wanted to show you some of the lovely notes from these students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Destiny wrote: "Mr. Simon, I hope you had a great time here," along with this lovely drawing of the two of us holding hands. Thank you, Destiny!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Savannah wanted me to know that she has some suggestions for new books: "What about flowers or bees? Birds are cool, too." And she added, "P.S. You inspire me." I am so touched by that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd grader Tyler wrote: "I liked when you showed us the paper airplane!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And look at this terrific drawing of a space monster! One of my favorite topics!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: School Visits, Teachers and Librarians, Kids Write   •  Permalink (link to this article)

December 13, 2012

Seymour’s visits to the Pennsbury schools are continuing; he spent yesterday at Makefield Elementary School in Yardley, Pennsylvania.

 

In preparation for his visit, the Makefield students watched a video about Seymour Simon, read his autobiography, used his books in their art classes and explored nature.

Mrs. Renee Pope, the Makefield Elementary School librarian, told us: "We are a certified green school with a green roof, solar panels, a learning garden (the fruits and vegetables are used in our cafeteria when harvested), and many things inside the school that reduce the use of energy and our carbon footprint. We are building benches from trees cut down for the recent renovation. We had them milled and dried so we can use them to make our benches!!"

 

Seymour was presented with an amazing book (thicker than your arm!), with a letter to Seymour Simon from every student in the school about what they observed in the school’s Learning Garden. Seymour particularly loved this book because he is always encouraging his readers to get outside, to look, listen, hear, smell and observe the wonderful nature that is all around us. This school is full of SeeMore Explorers!

We don’t have enough room here to share them all, but here are some examples of both the beautiful artwork posted around the school and the excellent writing compiled into this book, THE NATURE OF MAKEFIELD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

 

 

DEAR SEYMOUR SIMON….

 

I saw rocks.                        - Adam, kindergarten

 

I found a praying mantis.                        - Scarlett, kindergarten

 

 

I saw a purple flower.                        - Adrianna, 1st grade

 

There were bees.                        - Christian, 1st grade

 

I herd crickets. I smelled flowers. I wish I can play and I want to live hear. It is a fun place. LOVE IT HEAR!! And I love Nature.                        - Nina, 2nd grade

 

Being outside makes me feel good. I see a butterfly. I smell flowrs. I wish I could smell more things. If I was looking up from the grund to the sky I would see the botum of a flower.                   - Maggie, 2nd grade

 

I feel on the out side of my body is cool air. I wish we had more flowers. I smel basil and choclit mint. I believe nature is cool.                 - Noah, 2nd grade

 

I heard birds chirping. Being outside makes me feel free. I saw a yellow watering can. I tasted fresh mint. I wish I had a garden like this one. I never experienced something like this.                        - Avery, 3rd grade

 

I hear the calm wind and the rustle of the leafs. I see bold pretty flowers. I wish bees grew 20 feet tall and butterfly wings were 30 feet long. Being outside in the garden makes me feel so happy.                         - Christian, 3rd grade

 

I saw a praying mantis, a butterfly and a bee. It was so fun.            - Jeffrey, 3rd grade

 

  One day I experienced nature Makefield learning garden. I see pretty flower. I hear bird cheering believe nature.                  - Ashlynne, 3rd grade

 

I saw a woolly...

read more

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: School Visits, Kids Write   •  Permalink (link to this article)

December 10, 2012

We received this great message and photo from a class this week:


 

After reading Seymour Simon’s PAPER AIRPLANE BOOK, grade 5 students on the Caribbean island of Curaçao decided to launch their own. Students designed their own models and some followed the plans of Pilot Simon himself. After we tested each model, students were eager to make changes and try again.

 

 

 


Isn’t that great? I have always loved flying paper airplanes, and I think most students do, too. If you would like to try, I have posted a paper airplane pattern that you can get you started. Click here for the free download.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Paper Airplanes, Kids Write   •  Permalink (link to this article)

October 23, 2012

 

 

I had such a good experience with Mrs. Klott’s second grade class at Scanlan Oaks Elementary School in Sugar Land, Texas last week.

 

 

 

 

They did a big research project and assembled all their writing and photographs into a book that they called SWIMMING SHARKS. This kind of book - where words and photographs work together to tell the story - is called a "photo essay." Many of my books (like my SHARKS book) are also photo essays.

Here is what they wrote on the first page:

About the Authors:
Mrs. Klott’s class is taking a bite out of learning every day, and loves to research science topics. They have already learned about sharks, wild weather, and plants. They have an aquarium full of fish for their class pets. They will continue to grow and learn together for the rest of this school year. They all love to read nonfiction books!

This sounds like my kind of class!

The whole book is wonderful, but I only have room to show you a couple of pages. These are both great ones.

 

Thank you, everyone, for making this lovely book for me. It is right here in my office, on my desk.

I also thank you for your excellent Writing Wednesday work last week. You can read more excellent writing by these second graders by clicking here to see how they analyzed the humorous writing in SILLY SPACE MONSTER JOKES AND RIDDLES. Their writing is at the bottom of the post - click on the yellow "comments" button to see.

Great job, Mrs. Klott’s class! It was a pleasure to meet you.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Sharks, School Visits, Kids Write, Space Monsters   •  Permalink (link to this article)

August 1, 2012

I received a letter recently from Susan Hall, the Media Specialist at the National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) School in Ohio. Ms. Hall wrote:


 

 

 

As a 5-8th grade school, we are using your book GLOBAL WARMING in a summer Cyber e-reading program, paired with a fiction book titled FIRST LIGHT by Rebecca Stead, which also deals with global warming. Our very curious learners are enthusiastic about your book and have some questions for you!

 

 

 


What a good idea to study this topic through both fictional and nonfiction texts! So, I’ve agreed to answer four questions from Ms. Hall’s summer students here on my blog. I hope that other readers will find this interesting, as well.

Why do so many people think global warming is a government conspiracy? (Andrew)

It is difficult to answer this question because no one really knows why people’s opinions are so diverse. The only thing that I can really answer is why I think that global warming is REAL and NOT a conspiracy. I think global warming is really happening because the overwhelming evidence of countless studies is that global warming does exist and that it is influenced by human activities. Just because a certain percentage of people believe that there is a government conspiracy is not evidence that there is one. For example, some people believe that humans and dinosaurs lived on Earth at the same time despite the fact that all the evidence points to the fact that dinosaurs became extinct tens of millions of years before humans appeared. 

How could we simulate the earth’s atmosphere to study and test the effects of global warming? (Daniel)

Setting up a computer simulation to track complex climate changes is very difficult. Yet the ones that have been done all seem to suggest that global warming is real and happening very quickly. 

What change in energy use would most dramatically slow down global warming? (Camryn)

Becoming more energy efficient is the single most important change we can help to bring about. The largest single source of greenhouse gases is electric power generation. The average home contributes more to global warming that an average car. That’s because much of the energy comes from power plants that burn fossil fuel to make electricity. So the less electricity we use, the more we are helping cut down on the use of fossil fuels. 

Is it possible to reverse global warming? (Miriam)

Many scientists think that it’s possible to slow it down rather than just reversing the process. Either way, it’s to all our advantage if we conserve energy to reduce our use of fossil fuels. 

 

 

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(5) Comments  •   Labels: Climate Change, Global Warming, Teachers and Librarians, Kids Write   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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