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The Sound of a Wild Snail in the Biology Classroom Ryan Bromwell Science Department

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1 The Sound of a Wild Snail in the Biology Classroom Ryan Bromwell Science Department

2 Book Title The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey Players Me Advanced Honors Biology 9 th graders Semester long project Expanded to Migratory Book Project in its 2 nd year Author collaboration Components Individual Reading assignments Reflection questions collected via Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) Classroom discussion Skype with the Author Coming soon! – Migratory Book Project Overview of the Snail Project

3 Origin of the Project (or Why Did I Pick a Book About a Snail!?) Be careful what you listen to on NPR! Personal enjoyment – translates into classroom enthusiasm Filled a void – vehicle to achieve a particular objective

4 So What Is This Book About? In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her encounter with a Neohelix albolabris – a common woodland snail. While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater understanding of her own confined space in the world. Intrigued by the snails molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear decision making, hydraulic locomotion, and mysterious courtship activities, Bailey becomes an astute and amused observer, offering a candid and engaging look into the curious life of this underappreciated small animal. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world illuminates our own Existence and provides an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.

5 Acclaim for the Book (Apparently Other People Are Reading Books About Snails Too) Book Awards William Saroyan International Prize for Nonfiction 2012 John Burroughs Medal Award 2001 for Distinguished Natural History National Outdoor Book Award for 2010 in Natural History Literature Selected Book Lists Great Titles to add to the New York Times Best of 2010 Lists – The Huffington Post Top Ten Science & Technology Books for 2010 – BOOKLIST by the American Library Association Memoirs That Will Last: Collection Department – Library Journal, 2013

6 Worldwide Editions

7 Appreciation for the natural world Develop observational skills Foster an understanding of the connections that humans innately have with the natural world Initial Objectives (…because things always change)

8 Concurrent with the curriculum but not necessarily integrated. Weeklong assignments – roughly 25 pages Students expected to respond to questions posed on Google Drive survey or to complete the activities provided. Student Reading Assignments

9 Student Reflection (or How I Figured Out if the Students Actual Read and What Were They Thinking?) Google Drive Survey Tools Online Surveys

10 Oh, But It Got More Involved! Online Survey – Part 2 Each set of reflection questions/ activities built upon the theme of each particular part of the book. J FK - Adolescent Observation Times MEAN – just under 13 minutes MEDIAN – 12.5 minutes MAX – 27 minutes MIN – 7 minutes

11 Interesting Responses… (The Ordinary) "This is my brother reading a book in his room 1.He would always make a noise with his mouth while reading, whether humming or making a popping noise. 2.He would spin in his chair a lot, but then would suddenly stop, as if he reached an interesting part. 3.He would either scratch his neck or run his fingers through his hair a lot. 4.He would check his watch often, as if to check how long he had been reading. 5.Whenever he heard a noise, he would look at his closet, not at the door." "This is my brother reading a book in his room 1.He would always make a noise with his mouth while reading, whether humming or making a popping noise. 2.He would spin in his chair a lot, but then would suddenly stop, as if he reached an interesting part. 3.He would either scratch his neck or run his fingers through his hair a lot. 4.He would check his watch often, as if to check how long he had been reading. 5.Whenever he heard a noise, he would look at his closet, not at the door."

12 Interesting Responses… (The Special Occasion) "At the wedding: One guy kept taking pictures with the cap on The people that kept going to the bar were really red at the end of the night The Junior bridesmaid kept taking her shoes off then putting them back on My brother kept taking mints My brother kept putting salt in my dad's water"

13 Interesting Responses (The Enlightened Observer) "I observed people on a bus ride. One person was blowing pink bubble gum, but not only that, he was blowing a bubble inside a bubble. The bubble popped and left sticky residue on his face. Also, I saw one kid with his shiny, black phone in his hands. He was playing Doodle Jump and had a score of 13,355. I also observed that half the people on the bus were listening to iPods, but also half these people were asleep which I wouldn't have realized if I had not been paying close attention. I looked at an upperclassman's tie which was green and yellow. I hadn't realized that the tie had lacrosse sticks on it until I gave it second look. Finally on my way off the school bus, I saw a kid fall. What really happened was a middle-schooler stuck his foot out and tried to trip him on purpose. I realized this because the kid that tripped him started to giggle soon after."

14 Other Integrated Topics.. (or Where a Trade Book Can Easily Take You That A Textbook Might Not) Bioengineering – i.e. the kingfisher and the bullet train Fractals, Logarithms, and the Fibonacci sequence Latin – and why learning it helps you in science Your five senses Empathy vs. Sympathy Animal Reproduction – the weird, bizarre, and outright ouch!

15 Meeting the Author 40 minute Skype session Students brainstormed, narrowed, and finalized questions to ask of Ms. Bailey Selected book reading 2 nd year – Discussed the Migratory Book Project

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17 Sampling of Student Questions Health Did the doctors ever diagnose you officially with a disease? How are you feeling now? Will you ever be able to at least come close to fully functioning again? Natural World Do you respect bugs more now that you have connected with the snail? Do you still keep snails at home as of now? What is your favorite characteristic of the snail? Writing Why did you decide to write this book? Did you ever want to stop writing about the snail? you as the snail?

18 Sampling of Student Questions Perspective Do you feel completely caught up to the world yet or do you still feel as if youre still getting back into the swing of things? How much time do you spend in nature quietly relaxing every day? Do you wish you had not gotten the disease? How would you compare your relationship to the snail with a relationship that we might experience in everyday life? Would you change anything in your past if you had the chance?

19 Migratory Book Project Premise What if you left this book in public for anyone to take, read, and pass on? What would happen? Who would read it? Would the experiment work? New Directions (So You Just Leave the Book There?)

20 Focused on two main questions: How do books move through society? What about this book is relevant to readers? Essential Questions (or So What Do You Want to Know About People and a Book About Snails?)

21 How do books move through society? Where a book is placed will influence whether it is read and who will read it. Person to person transfer will be more effective than simply leaving it in public. Estimated project will last 9 months at maximum with only 15% of books in circulation for this duration. Essential Answers (Its a Science Class – Students Have to Make Hypotheses?)

22 What about this book is relevant to readers? Book will appeal most to people who are elderly or infirm or who share the similar demographics as the author (female, middle-aged, married) People who do not like the book, will stop reading and may not complete the on-line survey thus skewing results. Girls will prefer over boys Unemployed, retired, or empty nesters will prefer Essential Answers (Its a Science Class – Students Have to Make Hypotheses?)

23 Launch – September students Survey Tool – Using Google Drive to collect voluntary data Next wave to be launched in Winter 2014 Whats Next?

24 To receive a complimentary desk copy of The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating for curriculum consideration contact: Michael Rockliff Director, School & Library Sales and Marketing Workman Publishing Company (Algonquin Books) 225 Varick Street New York, NY x 7572 Also, Ms. Bailey is available via contact from her website Would You Like to Use the Snail Book Too?


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