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The lastest Adventures of The Sizzling Six:
The Case of The Missing Piping Plovers

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YA Eco Mysteries, Memoirs, Novels & Travel

Environmental Education Teacher Handout

Earth Day Migratory Bird Day

Helping Birds Along the Way

On a perfect spring day, citizens celebrated the first
International Migratory Bird Day at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Earth Day festival. At the Media Mint Publishing Booth, visitors learned that birds fly thousands of miles from their wintering areas in South America and the Caribbean to their summer nesting sites in the United States and Canada. A Piping plover, for example, can travel over a 1,000 miles from the Caribbean to the breeding areas in northern United States and Canada.

Media Mint Publishing Earth Day

Endangered Orange-Bellied Parrot

The Orange-Bellied Parrot Mystery
by Sophia R. Morris, Age 10
Vestavia Hills Elementary Central, Teacher Mrs. Fulkerson
Winning Entry in the Eco Mystery Writing Contest

parrot orange-bellied

Claire White reached for her cup of cold lemonade, her pale skin once covered in some light shadow, now glinting in the sunlight.

“This is the life isn’t it, girls,” nodding to the two girls beside her. “We can finally relax after solving that jewerly crime.” Maria Monday and Stacy Woods, the girls in lounges beside her murmured “Ya……..” Read More...

EEAA Conference Inspires Educators

Environmental Education in the Classroom

You can call me a nature lover, an environmentalists, an environmental educator, or the author of the eco mystery series for kids. One thing's for sure, the scientists and teachers who participated in the 2016 Environmental Education Association of Alabama Conference at Camp McDowell, were an inspiration. Like me, they are dedicated to passing on our scientific knowledge, love, and appreciation for nature to the next generation.
Seeking green salimander
Looking for a Green Salamander

The Educational Value of Zoos

Teacher’s Night at the Birmingham Zoo

On a muggy, late summer Alabama night, tired teachers trooped through the gates of the Birmingham Zoo after a long day in the classroom. They were greeted by smiling docents, a friendly talking parrot and a cool gopher tortoise, bigger than a dinner plate. While teachers enjoyed delicious complimentary BBQ and drinks, the zoo’s able and talented educational staff explained the wide variety of resources the zoo provides for teachers. These include school animal programs, a variety of field experiences, guided tours, auditorium programs, and hands-on science experiences.

Birmingham Zoo Teacher's Night
Docent Program in the Auditorium

Women's Hall of Fame

Alabama Women's Hall of Fame
midsummer jaunt with friends of the Cosmos Club began with a visit to The Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in Marion, Alabama, located on the historic campus of Judson College.
Visit to Judson College
Visit to Judson College, Alabama

As we stepped into the beautifully restored A. Howard Bean Hall, rows of
gleaming bronze plaques, honoring Alabama’s most outstanding women, welcomed us in. Pausing before the inscriptions on the plaques, we discovered the significant contributions each one of them have made to our state and nation. Read More...

Butterfly Awareness Botanical Gardens

Butterfly Education and Awareness Day

Monarch Butterfly (Poster created by Ellie Usadan)
Kids Enjoyed Coloring the Poster Created by Ellie Usdan

We were delighted to join the
Birmingham Botanical Gardens, on a perfect summer day, to celebrate Butterfly Education and Awareness Day, and also to share the newest book in the eco mystery series for middle grades, The Adventures of The Sizzling Six: Monarch Mysteries (book 6 in the series).

Alabama Biodiversity in our Hands

EEAA Annual Conference Alabama’s Biodiversity: It’s in our Hands!

The theme selected for the 2015 EEAA Annual Conference, Alabama's Biodiversity: It's in Our Hands, could not be more stimulating and relevant. The presentations and field trips at the conference highlight our state’s amazing biodiversity.
Scot Duncan, author of Southern Wonder, will be the key note speaker. In addition, pre-conference, day-long workshops provide an overflowing cornucopia of resources for teachers, thanks to Shirley Farrell, Gifted Specialist, Alabama Department of Education. Read More...

Environmental Project Based Learning

How to Launch Environmental Project Based Learning

1. LAUNCH PARTY. To arouse the students’ curiosity, plan the event to be novel and dramatic. Design a presentation that encourages students to generate questions that plunge them into an intriguing ecological mystery that they must solve in order to help save an endangered species. You could invite an author of eco mysteries or non-fiction books with environmental themes. For example, for my school presentation I dress up as Mrs. Margarita Mariposa, a character in The Adventures of The Sizzling Six: Monarch Mysteries (Book Six). I wear a striking mask with flowers and butterflies, and send
paper monarch butterflies into the air. 

Mexico in Birmingham

PBL and Environmental Fiction

"To sunshine, clear water, and sparkling skies and to the kids who are cleaning up the Earth.” Jean Craighead George

Butterfly girls

Butterfly Awareness Day, Birmingham Botanical Gardens

This blog serves two purposes. First, it provides a list of environmental fiction that students would enjoy and will fit neatly into the core curricula you will be teaching. Second, the blog demonstrates a way to apply what they have learned from reading to their own projects, using Project-Based Learning.


Teachers for Earth Day 

Amazing Science Stories and Books with Environmental Themes:
Throughout Alabama inspired and determined environmentalists are finding ways to conserve our precious natural resources. When I began my eco mystery series, The Adventures of The Sizzling Six, I did not fully anticipate the number of dedicated environmentalist I would meet along the way. What an inspiration it has been to see environmental educators like Traci Ingleright, Kay Stone and Kimberely Murray teaching students to appreciate and understand nature. And what a privilege and an education to see biologist and conservationists like Ken Marion, Thane Wibbles, Mark Bailey, John Trent, Eric Soehren, and Eric Spadgenske, Michele Reynolds, Arnold Rutkis and April Waltz Lapidus actively working to save species. Read More...

How Teachers Can Use Enhanced eBooks

Teaching with Enhanced eBooks

In the previous blog, I provided an overview of the advantages of using Enhanced eBooks for the general readers
Advantages of Enhanced eBooks. In this blog, I’ll focus on the benefits of Enhanced books for teachers with examples that you can download and use in your classrooms. While thoughtfully Enhanced eBooks can indeed enhance your students learning and appreciation, finding examples I considered worthwhile was not as easy as I anticipated. Read More...

Conservationists Saving Nature

Salute to Alabama’s Nature Conservationists

We are bombarded daily by dire news of global warming, the extinction of species, the destruction of the natural environment, and the urgent need for alternative energies. Too often this leaves us feeling discouraged and powerless. Rather than pay lip service to these problems, I feel the need to do something that will make a difference—even in a small way. Read More...

Annual Alabama Coastal Birdfest 

Tenth Annual John Borom Alabama Coastal BirdFest 
On a balmy autumn day we departed Birmingham for the Alabama Coastal Birdfest with high expectations and not an inkling about the storm lurking off the Gulf Coast. At a reception that evening we enjoyed meeting fellow birders and relaxing on the back deck overlooking an expansive view of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta Read More...

Environmental Education Eco Mysteries

Become an Eco Detective

Teachers and Environmental Educators can use my eco mystery series to teach environmental education, ecology and writing across the curriculum. Just download my teacher Handout, BECOME AN ECO DETECTIVE. To get started visit these links:

Teacher Handouts