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ANTS: Amazing facts and more!

Ants: Amazing Facts about Ants with Pictures for Kid

Written by Hathai Ross

The author packs a lot of information into this reference book about ants. Many kids enjoy watching them while exploring outdoors or under glass in an ant farm.

These fascinating creatures live in all parts of the world except Antarctica. More than 12,000 species have been alive for millions of years. Ants live in colonies and are social insects with designated roles. Broadly speaking, there are queens, workers, and male ants. The queen is the largest in the colony whose only job is to lay eggs. Male ants’ only responsibility is to mate with the queen. Worker ants feed the larvae, defend the colony, and remove the waste.

Ross spends a bit of time describing Argentine, Pavement, House, Carpenter, Crazy and Fire Ants. The author describes their appearance, environment, daily life and interesting characteristics. Amazing facts include their exceptional strength, being able to carry twenty times their weight, and the fact that they fight till the death. Ants usually crawl in lines because they are following the pheromones of ants that have crawled before them. There are one million ants for every single human living on earth.

I would have liked to see more photos included in the book. At times the text begins to sound like a list of facts rather than a story about ants, but this book is an excellent reference for children who are interested in these fascinating creatures that are all around us. Recommended especially for young scientists in the eight to twelve age range. Good starting point for a research project.

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and a Free Gift

Looking for activities to celebrate Earth Day? Help your students learn vocabulary while they learn about caring for the planet.
Try these:
  1. Make recycled paper with your class using your own classroom paper scraps. (See some great instructions in this video.)

  1. Plant trees in your community
  2. Start a community garden to help supply your local food bank
  3. Help your students learn vocabulary while they learn about caring for the planet.
  4. Make musical instruments from recycled materials from home. Then have a mini-concert to show off your class talents!

Finally, help your students learn vocabulary while they learn about caring for the planet with this free word search.  Ecology, recycle, sustainable…and more! This free Earth Day worksheet is appropriate for learners 3rd to 6th grade. The search contains 21 Earth Day vocabulary words. Happy Earth Day!

Your feedback is very much appreciated. Thank you!

Literature Link – A Summer Read to Warm Up Your Winter.

Indian Summer

Written by Tracy Richardson

IndianSummer,pic

Twelve year old Marcie Horton is feeling good about finishing the last day of school, but at the same time is dreading the upcoming summer. While she has always enjoyed spending time at her grandparents’ home on Lake Pappakeechee, this year is different. None of her friends will be going.

Marcie is a talented and competitive athlete, but not one of the “popular girls” at school. Her discomfort is increased when the parents of one of these girls inform her that they have just built a huge house on the lake, and invite her to spend time at their home with their daughter, Kaitlyn.

As the summer unfolds, things get more and more complicated. Kaitlyn pushes Marcie to make decisions with which she is not comfortable. Her loyalties are torn between peer pressure and family. When Kaitlyn’s father plans a development that will threaten the existing lake environment, Marcie is again forced to choose. To make matters worse, strange visions are haunting Marcie. She feels as if she in living both in the past and present. An unexpected turn of events allows her to be drawn by some mystical force to make a miraculous discovery.

In some ways the plot is predictable, yet the characters are compelling and so well-drawn that I read the book in one sitting. This book hits on so many issues that face tweens and teens. A bit of magic, history, fantasy, coming of age, environmental issues, family, and loyalty all combine to make one entertaining story. With a page count of just over two hundred pages, it is a bit long for a middle grade read, but the book is a comfortable and easy read. Recommended for ages ten and above with lots of appeal for both boys and girls.
Barbara Mojica
Author of the Little Miss HISTORY series:
Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT RUSHMORE
Little Miss HISTORY Travels to The STATUE of LIBERTY
Little Miss HISTORY Travels to SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST
Little Miss HISTORY Travels to FORD’S THEATER
WWW.LittleMissHISTORY.com

Novel Launch – The Discovery Set’s Sail!

Click to get your copy!

I am so proud to announce that  the 2nd Edition of The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru is now available  on Amazon and Teachers Pay Teachers! Here are just a few of the responses  from independent critics so far :

“Jewel of Peru took me on an adventure from page one. Sharon Skretting has captured Peru and deftly woven elements of the culture and geography into a fast-paced treasure hunt. It was well written, entertaining and introduced me to new ideas.   I loved making little discoveries along the way about the people and places. I found some of the features of Peru so interesting, I looked them up the Internet and was delighted to find things just as she described. Fact and fantasy blend seamlessly in this delightful tale.”   —Sara Marchand, Beta Reader

Jewel of Peru is a magical adventure through time, taking Captain Christopher and his loyal crew of orphaned stowaways on a perilous quest in search of Christopher’s missing parents. After his father’s ship is found abandoned at sea, Christopher makes an unexpected discovery on board – The Ultimate Treasure Chest! Unwilling to believe his parents could be dead, Christopher and his friends set sail in pursuit of The Ultimate Treasure with the hope that it will lead him to his mom and dad. When a savage pirate and a corrupt business man join forces to steal The Ultimate Treasure for themselves, the gang must come face to face with the devastating impact of human greed on our planet and figure out a way to reverse decades of ecological devastation before it’s too late. Expertly crafted with young readers in mind, Jewel of Peru is as educational as it is entertaining. Deftly imparting the value of environmental conservation, readers will journey through the stunning landscape of Peru as Christopher and his companions learn what it means to become Master Keepers of the Earth’s greatest treasures.  

—Kelley Fitzpatrick Holland, Quiethouse Copy Editing

Jewel was an enthralling story from start to finish. Once I started this book, I did not want to put it down. Sharon did a fantastic job on creating a unique story that left me wanting more. I haven’t read another book like it, and that is what I loved about it. I loved how readers will learn important concepts throughout this story. The importance of sharing, protecting the environment, etc. Children will also see how greediness can affect others. Sharon did a fantastic job with the world-building. It was well crafted and well thought out. I was able to vividly see everything going on around me.              — Kristina Snyder, Beta Reader

I am excited and pleased with the response thus far, but I want to hear what you think of the Jewel of Peru.  Get your copy today and kindly leave an honest review or post your comment here! I want to know if you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Thanks all,

Sharon