video: Review of Writing to Explore
Middlebury, VT USA
SCHOOL VISITS: K - 8 (strength 3-8)
Peter takes students on adventures around the world and shows them the passion that lies at the heart of travel and writing. In his lively multimedia presentation he takes children into jungles to look for Inca treasure, into the Arctic world of Eskimos and polar bears, out to prehistoric excavations in East Africa. Adventure Assembly helps children understand the process of a writer - researching topics, collecting journals, and perfecting the writer's craft. Follow-up writing workshops and residencies are available.
Year(s) of participation: 2016, 2017
A4ED school visit photos & blurbs:
2017 at Meadow Pond Elementary School in South Salem, NY USA
PETER GIVES KIDS A CHOICE AT MEADOW POND
Thank you to the amazing students, teachers and staff at Meadow Pond Elementary School in South Salem, NY, for a wonderful Earth Day celebration. And a special thanks to the school's amazing librarian, Diane Moller, for all the work she did to prepare the students for my Authors for Earth Day visit.
It's such an honor to be able to talk to schoolchildren about adventures around the world. This time there was the added benefit of having students research four non-profit environmental groups and take a vote for the one they wanted to donate money to.
During the day I presented adventure assemblies to third, fourth and fifth grades in the library. The voting went on all day in the classrooms and with nearly 400 votes cast, it was neck and neck with Viva Vaquita, until the winner was Defenders of Wildlife was announced over the school television channel (with a long drum roll of hands pounding on the table). Defenders will get a donation of $1000.00.
Diane Moller worked for months with students and teachers to prepare for my visit. And what a great job she did with posters all over the walls in the hallways.
In my assemblies I told them about my own love of travel and nature. I tried to excite them about real adventure in real places with real people – not simply virtual adventure. We all are spending far too much time on screens, tv, computers, games, phones, ipads. Myself included. If we could just close the computer lid, leave the couch and head out into the world to explore, we might be happier.
I talked first about studying monkeys in Ecuador years ago and about hearing the story of a vast Incan treasure (750 tons) buried in a dangerous cloud forest in the nearby Andes Mountains. When I heard that tale, I decided to give up my plans to be an anthropologist and I stayed in Ecuador for years to research and write my first book about the gold.
That first book led to many other adventures in Nature, including being the first to canoe the entire length of the Hudson River, from which I wrote three books. It was a tough but beautiful three-week journey. I had to leave my one-year-old daughter Suzanna at home, which also made returning home a great joy.
I shared with students some of my craft, how I use cameras and tape recorders to document the sights and sounds, as well as the emotions and information of every journey.
Along the way, I tried to inspire students with my love of animals by showing photos from my books "Whaling Season: A Year in the Life an Artic Whale Scientist," "The Manatee Scientists: Saving Vulnerable Species," and "Polar Bear Scientists."
I love my job because I get to take adventures all over the world and write about them. I see new places, learn new things and meet new people. But it's especially rewarding when I get to visit schools like Meadow Pond where students engage deeply in learning and caring about our planet. Thank you for a great Earth Day visit!!
2016 at Altamont Elementary School in Albany, NY
PETER CONNECTS WITH STUDENTS AT ALTAMONT
Participating in Authors for Earth Day this week in Altamont Elementary School in New York State was definitely one of the best school visits of the year. The librarian Anne Johnson and the teachers did a fantastic job preparing the students for the vote in cardboard voting booths using SurveyMonkey on iPads on the day of my visit. No "hanging chads" in this school! The winner, Defenders of Wildlife, will be getting a check from me for $1,000. I've never seen so many kids so eager to help the planet. Really exciting way to do something that matters to all of us.