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Virtual Learning: Events for Thursday, March 26th

Authors, illustrators, scientists, and others are stepping in as students around the world face school closures. Each day, I'm sharing a newsletter with a list of live-streams for students, as well as other resources. Please feel free to share this list with other educators and families. They can sign up to receive the list in their inboxes by clicking here.

The knowledge that many students are unable to view these resources due to inequity of access is heavy on my heart. Each day, I'll also feature one organization working to support the basic needs of children during these unprecedented times. Today's organization is Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Boys and Girls Clubs of America is working to secure meals and childcare for families in need during the COVID-19 crisis. You can learn more and/or donate here.

Today's Virtual Learning Events
Note: If you're looking to plan ahead, I've made my current list of the events for the week available on the Virtual Learning page of my blog, Reading Connects Us. 
Every Hour: Home Learning Programs from California Department of Parks and Recreation 

The California Department of Parks and Recreation will be offering programming every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.! For the full schedule of virtual field trips, visit this link.
10 a.m. EDT: Science Education Activities with the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Each morning, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery will offer a science experiment and a science education video. You can find a supply list here and the livestreams here.
10 a.m. EDT: Shark Anatomy Lesson 

An Atlantic White Shark Conservancy team member will teach all about shark anatomy. More information is available here and the live-stream will be on the AWSC Facebook page.
11 a.m. EDT: 6&8 Legged Animals – Let’s Talk about Insects and Spiders! 

Can you tell the difference between insects and spiders? You’ll see some of the insects from the scientist’s collection and learn about the habitats and importance of these creatures. You’ll also have a chance to “meet” Vinnie. Come find out who and what Vinnie is! More information is available here.
11 a.m. EDT: Kids Square Children’s Museum Livestream

At 11 a.m. Tuesday-Friday through the end of the month, Kids Square Children’s Museum is going live on Facebook. Events may include a science experiment, reading a book, creative play, or something totally different! Note: Activities seem to be geared to the younger end of the elementary crowd.
11 a.m. EDT: Live from the New England Aquarium 

Every day at 11 a.m., the New England Aquarium is hosting live presentations on Facebook. Octopus feedings, shark trainings, and more – go here for more information!
Noon-ish EDT: Weekday Read Alouds with Peter H. Reynolds

Peter H. Reynolds is the beloved author & illustrator of The Dot, Ish, The Word Collector and many other titles. He is reading aloud each weekday at around noon on his Facebook page.
Noon EDT: Ada Lace Readaloud with Emily Calandrelli

Author Emily Calandrelli reads aloud her popular Ada Lace series on her Instagram page.
Noon EDT: Skype a Scientist: Bats! 

Kristen Lear got her start in bat conservation in 6th grade, and now works as a bat conservation scientist to protect bats around the world! More information is available here*Note*: This session will have an ASL Interpreter!
Noon EDT: Pete the Cat Club

Join the creator of Pete the Cat for a virtual storytime each weekday. James Dean will be reading to viewers as well as hosting a drawing tutorial. Videos can be found on Instagram Live.
Noon EDT: Weekday Read Alouds + Q&A with Author Tara Lazar

Tara Lazar, kid lit author, will be sharing a read aloud and talking about writing at noon EDT each weekday on her Instagram channel. Families can email with questions for Tara to answer live on each broadcast.
1 p.m. EDT: Read Aloud with Susan Verde

Author Susan Verde will offer a read aloud (and maybe a little yoga!) on her Instagram page.
1 p.m. EDT: Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems!

Mo Willems (creator of Elephant & Piggie and The Pigeon series) is currently the artist-in-residence at the Kennedy Center. He is offering daily doodle videos for kids, available at 1 p.m. each weekday on this Kennedy Center site.
1 p.m. EDT: Notebooking Videos with Poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Poet Amy Ludwig VanDerwater (author of Read, Read, Read! and Write, Write, Write!, as well as hundreds of poems on The Poem Farm) will be sharing notebooking videos each weekday on her Sharing Our Notebooks website. Videos should be available by 1 p.m. EDT each day.
2 p.m. EDT: Virtual Marine Biology Camp 

The Oceans Initiative is offering a marine biology camp every Monday and Thursday at 2 p.m. EDT. To see the first two videos and catch today’s livestream, visit their Facebook page.

p.m. EDT: Draw Every Day with Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Every weekday at 2 p.m., Jarrett J. Krosoczka (author & illustrator of graphic novels Hey Kiddo and Star Wars: Jedi Academy) will be holding live webcasts on his Youtube channel. As Jarrett shared on Twitter, “If you can’t watch live, each art lesson will be archived. Get your kids creating, drawing, using your imagination. We will get through this together.”

2 p.m. EDT: Virtual Readaloud with Dan Gutman 

Dan Gutman, creator of the My Weird School series, will be reading each weekday at 2 p.m. To catch previous chapters and to see today’s livestream, check out Dan Gutman’s Facebook page.
2 p.m. EDT: Virtual Museum Visit at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

This virtual museum visit will highlight a behind-the-scenes location, an animal ambassador from the zoo, or a special rarely seen item from the collection vault.

2 p.m. EDT: Conversations with Oliver Jeffers

Every weekday, Oliver Jeffers will be reading aloud one of his books and talking a little about what went into the making of the story. At this time, it seems like Oliver Jeffers will be streaming these events on his Instagram.

3 p.m. EDT: Home Safari with the Cincinnati Zoo

While the Cincinnati Zoo is closed and kids are home from school, the zoo is sharing a Home Safari on Facebook Live each weekday at 3 p.m. EDT. The Zoo will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an interactive activity students can do from home. The Safari will be live on the zoo's Facebook page.

3 p.m. EDT: Read Aloud with Mac Barnett

Each weekday at 3 p.m. EDT, Mac Barnett will be reading one of his books aloud on Instagram Live. You can find the videos on his Instagram page by visiting @macbarnett. Videos will remain up on his page for 24 hours.

3 p.m. EDT: Science Experiments with Emily Calandrelli 

Emily Calandrelli (scientist, author, and host of Xploration Outer Space) is hosting science experiments each weekday on Instagram Live. Experiments will (hopefully) use supplies you already have on hand at home. You can find her Instagram here.
4 p.m. EDT: Live Chapter Book Read Aloud with @JulieFalatko

Each day at 4, Julie Falatko will be reading from her Two Dogs in a Trench Coat series for 15-20 minutes. When illustrators are able to join, she will read from her picture books. You can find this read aloud each weekday on Instagram Live
6 p.m. EDT: Cabin Fever Astronomy with the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

This livestream will include an astronomy experience, from current topics, to notable items in the night sky. Special opportunities for a “chat with an expert” will be made available as well!
Additional Resources
  • A team of children's authors have come together to offer Tiny Writing Lessons on Youtube. These lessons are less than 5 minutes long and are perfect for the little authors in your life.
  • Newsela is offering free Reading Clubs for all kids during school closures. Readers will receive articles daily about their chosen topic. Want to learn about Amazing Animals, Impressive Youth, Music, or Food? Find the full list of clubs and more information here!
  • Author Grace Lin has officially launched the Kids Ask Authors podcast. The podcast features author interviews as well as questions from kids. Kids can submit a question here, or submit a book review, poem, or joke here!
  • This Guide to Virtual Museum Resources features a section with virtual tours and online exhibits just for kids.
  • The #WriteToAnAuthor initiative is allowing students to send letters to authors who promise to write back! For more information, visit this blog post with an author list or follow the #WriteToAnAuthor hashtag on Twitter.
  • Looking for videos and resources available anytime? Author Kate Messner has a list of resources for learning anywhere from authors & illustrators. More read alouds and videos are being added frequently.
  • This great list of virtual field trips takes kids around the world and back. Happy exploring! 🌎
Thank You!
Whether you are a teacher, librarian, parent, or caregiver, thank you for the work you are doing in service of children during these unprecedented times. If you need any additional resources or would like to bounce ideas back and forth, please feel free to reach out on Twitter. If you know of any resources to add to the newsletter, please let me know! 🌎📓✏️📚
Lorraine Brontë Magee is an educator in Larchmont, NY. Her goal is for all children to leave her classroom seeing themselves as readers. She is also passionate about building bridges for her students to become global citizens. You can find her blog at
Copyright © 2020 Reading Connects Us, All rights reserved.

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