From a distance…collaboration

It began, quite unintentionally, with the picture below. I took it on a road trip Friday and posted it to my facebook page with just one tag line …The orchard sleeps…

My distant writing group friend added two more lines….in winter’s gloom under a crescent moon…And, said, keep it going. The resulting conversation:

me: trees whisper tales of Spring

of blossoms snuggled in a winter wrap

of deep roots tangled in Summer’s dreams

she: one small bird perches at dawn

me: threads her way through forks of trees

through thickets of sticks

weaving her own tales

against the landscape of winter


Writing off of photos is one of my writing invitations on my writer’s notebook page on this blog. Photos inspire. Digital devices and social media allow us to virtually sit beside friends to collaborate visions and words, to create shared works.

Teachers–had the digital world of today existed back when I shared daily existence with sixth graders, you bet I would have encouraged this kind of collaboration.

You see two images here: the first is the photo that started it all; the second is a quickly-sketched notebook entry of the resulting poem.IMG_1007 IMG_1345


Take a….Journey North into all of the signs of the coming of Spring!

Journey North: A Global Study of Wildlife Migration and Seasonal Change

Journey North engages citizen scientists in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. K-12 students (AND, the general public— backyard, etc. observers–may also participate!) share their own field observations with classmates across North America. They track the coming of spring through the migration patterns of monarch butterflies, robins, hummingbirds, whooping cranes, gray whales, bald eagles— and other birds and mammals; the budding of plants; changing sunlight; and other natural events.

Visit the site and find migration maps, images, standards-based lesson plans, activities and information to help students (and YOU) make local observations and fit them into a global context. Widely considered a best-practices model for education, Journey North is the nation’s premiere citizen science project for children.

As always—Simply the BEST from Annenberg Learner!!