Wed 11 Jul, 2007 10:36 pm
I am doing a series of annotations of excellent books. I need at least 20 titles in the following 'genres': poetry/song, picture books, historical fiction/biography, traditional (folklore/myth) literature, & non-fiction.
Non-fiction and picture books were super-easy, of course. I am finding some naturalists' biographies to use. Poetry is harder - I am not a follower of the genre. Traditional literature is tricky as well. And I have just about given up on historical fiction.
The idea is that I find 20+ books, ideally 4 per genre listed above. I annotate the books (the bulk of the paper) and come up with 10 activities (briefly described) to do in a unit. This is a literature class, so the books have to be primo.
For bios I have: Sylvia Earle & Audubon. I am planning to find a focused bio on Thoreau (not about civil disobedience, but about his nature treks). I think I'll find a bio on Rachel Carson. These people study natural environments/ecosystems, document them, find problems and try to resolve them (not all at once!).
I thought the traditional texts could be about how people viewed ecosystems in the past. As in: all the sea creatures and water on earth erupted from a giant pumpkin (Puerto Rico). Sort of creation myths, but more focused on nature rather than humans.
The biggest problem I am having is getting diversity. There are very few ecologists/environmentalists of color. I was going to try to focus on Americans, but I may have to suck it up and move out to other countries. I even visited a website for a group called african-americans environmentalists (or something close to that). While it was an interesting site, I couldn't find what I needed.
I need: more diversity in my scientists or protagonists and more traditional tales. I'd love it if someone could recommend a historical fiction title.
How would Gerald Durrell fit in there? He conveyed a ton of information about Greek ecology in the course of his entertaining tales of growing up there.
John Muir is one of California's origninal environmentalists.
John Muir (April 21, 1838 - December 24, 1914) was one of the first modern preservationists. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, and wildlife, especially in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, were read by millions and are still popular today. His direct activism helped to save the Yosemite Valley and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States. His writings and philosophy strongly influenced the formation of the modern environmental movement.
Many of his writings are online too:
Lots of sources here. Check out the scientific and literature section near the end:
And there's Biosphere 2 in Arizona. Might be able to find some poetry surrounding that:
This book may be a source for Native American Lore/Legends about ecosystems:
Thanks! I found a book on a man named Charles Eastman, a Dakota born in 1858. He was a 'nature watcher'. Interesting bio too.
I will look more deeply into Muir. And I will check out the names and links here. Thanks again!
Do bios have to be from birth to death (or present)? I'd think not. I have two books which are on the fence between non-fiction and autobiographical.
One is "A North American Rain Forest Scrapbook". The author, Virginia Wright-Frierson, took a trip to the temperate rain forest in Oregon and wrote of her personal experience there. Similarly, the second book, "Under the Ice", by Kathy Conlan, is about the author's scientific dive expedition in Antarctica. The writing is about both their personal experiences and the ecosystems they emerged themselves in.
Bio or non-fiction?
I looked the books up to read reviews. One was called a photo-essay. Both were said to contain autobiographical data..... memoir, hmmmmm.....
I did well on this project, thanks for your support. She wanted a copy of my paper to use as an exemplar in future classes.