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Virtual Learning: Events for Tuesday, March 24th

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 Family Promise. Family Promise supports low-income families, who are some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 health crisis through the loss of wages, childcare, food, transportation, and more. Learn more about the organization 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. 
Overwhelmed by options? A word of advice: choose just one option to try with your child or class as you kick off virtual learning. Each one of these opportunities can make a world of difference for students learning from home. When you are ready for more, you can always come back to the list.
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: Big Cat Rescue: Learn About Our Cats! 

Students will learn about day-to-day operations at the Big Cat Rescue sanctuary, be introduced to the twelve species of cats that call Big Cat Rescue home, and find out about the issues that threaten cats both in captivity and the wild. More information available here.
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: Q&A with Fabien Cousteau 

The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy will have aquanaut, ocean conservationist, and documentary filmmaker Fabien Cousteau live on their page for a Q&A. More information is available here and the live-stream will be on the AWSC Facebook page.
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.
Noon-ish EDT: Daily 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 daily at around noon on his Facebook page.
Noon EDT: Skype a Scientist: Grey Whales with Clara Bird 

Clara Bird uses drones to study how gray whale behavior varies across space, time, and individuals off the coast of Oregon. More information is available here. *Note*: This session will have an ASL Interpreter.
Noon EDT: Ada Lace Readaloud with Emily Calandrelli

Author Emily Calandrelli reads aloud her popular Ada Lace series on her Instagram page.
Noon EDT: Pete the Cat Club

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

Tara Lazar, kid lit author, will be sharing a daily read aloud and talking about writing at noon EDT on her Instagram channel. Families can email with questions for Tara to answer live on each broadcast.
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. on this Kennedy Center site.
1 p.m. EDT: Daily 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 daily notebooking videos on her Sharing Our Notebooks website. Videos should be available by 1 p.m. EDT each day.

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: Great Plains Black History Museum Virtual Tour 

Learners will experience a virtual tour of the only African American History Museum in the state of Nebraska at the Great Plains Black History Museum. Students will get to visit various exhibits in the museum. More information is available here.
2 p.m. EDT: Virtual Readaloud with Dan Gutman 

Dan Gutman, creator of the My Weird School series, will be reading daily 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 day, 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 daily on the zoo's Facebook page.
3 p.m. EDT: The WOW Facts of Nonfiction (Ages 7-10) 

Author Lola Schaefer will read parts of the nonfiction book LIFETIME and explain how she finds information that has never been published before. Bring paper and pencil with you to the live stream to jot down ideas! More information is available here.

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

Each day 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 daily science experiments 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: Getting Into Character (Ages 9-15) 

Character development keeps your story on its toes! Author Laura Dower uses clever prompts and art/photographs to help you invent a wild cast of characters. Bring with you a pen, paper, imagination! More information is available 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 daily read aloud 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
  • 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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