Available for virtual tours in: British Columbia, Newfoundland & Labrador and PEI
Home Province: Ontario
Genre: Non-Fiction Picture Books
Grades: Kindergarten-Grade 3
Cost for School and Public Virtual Presentation with CCBC subsidy: $200.00, plus applicable taxes
Virtual Workshop Information
Option # 1 : Born Naturalists Workshops
This fast-moving presentation is great for limited attention spans and can be curated for children in kindergarten to the first grade, or for grades two to three. It centres around the idea that kids are born as naturalists and scientists, able to learn about the world around them simply by using their senses for close observation.
Having spent years creating children’s programming at summer camp and elsewhere, I have filled this presentation with interactive songs, games, and action activities that share information about pollinators, seeds, and natural environments, as well as a reading of my nonfiction picture book Outside, You Notice.
In a show-and-tell portion I share some items I have brought in from the woods or my garden, highlighting my sensory observations of them. There is an opportunity for kids to tell about what they have noticed themselves outside. With advance planning, this can be a longer part of the session if teachers encourage students to make some deliberate observations. A worksheet is available.
Curriculum connections include the five senses, pollinators, the needs of living things, and the life cycles of plants. Themes of mindfulness and healthy, active movement are woven throughout.
Option # 2 : Notice, Wonder, Write Workshop
This presentation for students in grades two to three focuses on writing nonfiction text, with inspiration from my nonfiction picture book Outside, You Notice.
I explain that all my life, from my schoolwork to my job today, I have always managed to make assignments more fun by writing about things that interest me, like growing plants and learning about animals.
As an editor in the publishing industry, I’m able to give a behind-the-curtain look at the various parts of the book-making process before reading Outside, You Notice.
Following that, I guide the students through a shared nonfiction writing exercise. I model the process of checking facts from our joint brainstorming and assembling them into a descriptive paragraph.
Next we brainstorm a list of other topics to write about, focusing on things we’ve experienced ourselves, like playing a sport or visiting a location. The students then spend time writing down what they remember seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting during that experience, as well as facts they know or think about it. A blackline master is available for this. If the teacher chooses, the students can go on to do fact checking and develop a paragraph from their notes after the presentation.
Outside, You Notice, Pajama Press, 2021
ERIN ALLADIN is an editor, a writer, and an ecology enthusiast who is always looking for ways to combine her passions. Born in Northern Ontario to a gardener and a forester, she spent most of her early life looking at and thinking about the natural world. As a young adult she spent nearly a decade immersed in Toronto’s children’s literature scene before retreating back up north, where she continues to edit while growing vegetables and writing about regenerative agriculture. Erin lives near Parry Sound with her husband, her garden, and not quite enough bookshelves.
★ “The detailed text and varied images immerse readers in the feeling of being outside, fully attentive and relaxed….The illustrations use soft coloring, varied perspectives, and active characters to great effect, pulling observers into the worlds of plants, animals, and the people who love them. This lovely book is more than the sum of its parts.”—Kirkus ★ Starred Review
“As this blend of fiction and nonfiction emphasizes observation, it also leads up to a mindfulness of being present when outside….A charming, gentle nudge to go outside and simply be.”—Booklist
“Blinick’s illustrations offer a sense of excitement and serenity, showing cheerful children with light and dark skin tones and different physical abilities….This exploration of the outdoors is fit to use for budding biologists.”—School Library Journal
“We rated this book: [4.5/5]…This is a thoughtful, reflective story about the healing power of spending time outdoors….This light-hearted, relatable, and timely text will bring youth new enlightenments each time they sift through its pages.”—Seattle Book Review
“Readers of Outside, You Notice are left with wonder and appreciation for the things that surround them. The result is a warm, joyful and inviting environment that awaits us all. If anyone ever doubted the benefits of spending quality time outdoors, this lovely book will dispel that notion….Highly Recommended.”—Canadian Review of Materials
“For the curious preschooler… In this well-illustrated non-fiction picture book, Alladin explores the many things children can learn outdoors… Andrea Blinick of Toronto has added child-friendly pictures of gouache, coloured pencil, collage and chalk pastel that add to the attraction of this little volume.”—Winnipeg Free Press