This post is for my #Teacher friends heading back to school in the new year.
You may already know that DEAR EARTH…From Your Friends in Room 5 begins in January, when Room 5 makes a resolution to give back to Earth:
And you may alread use DEAR EARTH as an intro to your Writing Friendly Letters unit.
But guess what?
Illustrator Luisa Uribe recently shared how she chose the animals for our book,
and the answers would make a cool exploration of habitats or biomes.
I have to say I LOVE Luisa’s illustrations of Earth, don’t you?
But she also used different animals to illustrate the sections when Earth writes back.
Luisa said, “My idea was to show different biomes from North America.”
Option: When you first read the book,
have students point them out and identify them.
The first animal we meet is the sea turtle, which represents the ocean. When I show this page to young readers, I ask them how many fish they see. Many will say FIVE. Upon closer examination, they realize how easy it was to mistake a plastic bag for a fish. Turtles do that too…
In April we meet this adorable black-footed ferret.
Luisa explained, “The animals in DEAR EARTH.. are not all officially endangered, but if you wanted to do a lesson about that, the black-footed ferret and the history and extinction of prairies would be a good option (in my humble opinion of course!).”
For Earth’s response in May, we meet these beautiful Cutthroat trout. They remind me of going camping with my family each summer, Our daughter is the fly-fisher in the family now. Catch-and-release always.
In June, Bernard and his dad see a Downy woodpecker. (Spoiler alert) I love that Bernard writes to Earth after school’s out, so the Earth Heroes can keep going!
In the fall, this sweet Grey fox greets us. Luisa said the background was inspired by the Grand Canyon.
In November, young readers will see the Red Knot, a sandpiper.
“Red Knots from eastern North America have declined sharply in recent decades owing in part to unsustainable harvest of horseshoe crab eggs, and they have become a flagship species for shorebird conservation in the twenty-first century.”allaboutbirds.org / The Cornell Lab
Maybe your class will resolve to help Earth this year, like Room 5 does.
If so, please send me photos or art or writing from your Earth Heroes,
and I will happily post them here on the blog.
(Coming next week: A Room 13 Blog Takeover!)
PS Did you know that the book jacket of the hard cover edition reverses to become a cool poster?