Saturday, June 13, 2015

Books with Local Settings

Almost surprisingly, there's not much that's set in and around Coquitlam!

The CWILL BC Society blog offers a GREAT list of Books with BC settings. Here are the ones set in the Lower Mainland and on the Coast. Suggested by CWILL BC members and compiled by Karen Autio

Children (C) Young Adult (YA)

British Columbia:
A Pacific Alphabet (C) by Margriet Ruurs and illustrated by Dianna Bonder, 
The West is Calling (C) by Sarah Harvey and Leslie Buffam and illustrated by Dianna Bonder
BC Forests:
Forestry A-Z (C) by Ann Walsh and Kathleen Cook Waldron, 
Skookum Sal, Birling Gal (C) by Heather Kellerhals-Stewart
Skookum Sam, Spar Tree Man (C) by Heather Kellerhals-Stewart
BC Mountains:
A Mountain Alphabet (C) by Margriet Ruurs, 
Witch’s Fang (YA) by Heather Kellerhals-Stewart
BC West Coast:
A Pod of Orcas: A Seaside Counting Book (C) by Sheryl McFarlane and illustrated by Kirsti Anne Wakelin
Sea Dog (C) by Dayle Campbell Gaetz
Spoiled Rotten (C) by Dayle Campbell Gaetz,
The Lightkeeper’s Daughter (YA) by Iain Lawrence, 
Eagle Dreams (C) by Sheryl McFarlane
,Jessie’s Island (C) by Sheryl McFarlane
Moonsnail Song (C) by Sheryl McFarlane
Puppies on Board (C) by Sarah Harvey, 

Tides of Change (C) by Sheryl McFarlane, 
Vernon and the Snake (C) by Crystal Stranaghan and illustrated by Eleanor Rosenberg
Waiting for the Whales (C) by Sheryl McFarlane
What’s that Sound? By the Sea (C) by Sheryl McFarlane, 
The Smell of Paint (YA) by Sheryl McFarlane
BC Wilderness:How Can I Be a Detective If I Have to Baby-sit? (C) by Linda Bailey
BC Wilderness near Whistler:The Darwin Expedition (YA) by Diane Tullson

Broughton Archipelago:The Accomplice (YA) by Norma Charles
Chilliwack:Skater Stuntboys (YA) by Pam Withers
Crescent Beach:Reading the Bones (C) by Gina McMurchy-Barber
Delta:Home Court Advantage (C) by Sandra Diersch
Desolation Sound:Adrift (YA) by Julie Burtinshaw
Discovery Islands:The Whale’s Way (C) by Heather Kellerhals-Stewart
Fraser River – Lower Mainland:Mud Girl (YA) by Alison Acheson
Fraser Valley:Boxcar Kid (C) by Norma Charles
Fraser Valley near Hope:The Golden Rose (C) by Dayle Campbell Gaetz
Gambier Island:Sophie’s Friend in Need (C) by Norma Charles
Gulf Islands:
How Can a Brilliant Detective Shine in the Dark? (C) by Linda Bailey

Tarragon Island (C) by Nikki Tate

No Cafes in Narnia (C) by Nikki Tate

Trouble on Tarragon Island (C) by Nikki Tate
Gulf Islands – Kuper Island:No Time to Say Good-bye (YA) by Sylvia Olsen
Gulf Islands – Salt Spring Island:
A Sea Lion Called Salena (C) by Dayle Campbell Gaetz
Spoiled Rotten (C) by Dayle Campbell Gaetz
The Freedom of Jenny (YA) by Julie Burtinshaw
Lower Fraser Valley:Pioneer Sounds (C) by Pat Godwin and Florence Nicholson
Boxcar Kid (C) by Norma Charles, 

Criss Cross, Double Cross (C) by Norma Charles
Sophie Sea to Sea (C) by Norma Charles
Maple Ridge:
Home Court Advantage (C) by Sandra Diersch
False Start (C) by Sandra Diersch
North Vancouver:The Trouble with Cupid (C) by Laura Langston
, Payback (YA) by James Heneghan
North Vancouver (Capilano Rainforest):The Summer of the Spotted Owl (C) by Melanie Jackson
Pemberton and Area:Peak Survival (YA) by Pam Withers
Queen Charlotte Islands:Archipelago (C) by David Ward
Richmond:Ceiling Stars (YA) by Sandra Diersch
Squamish:Extreme Edge (YA) by Heather Kellerhals-Stewart
Surrey/Sunshine Coast:Meeting Miss 405 (C) by Lois Peterson
Telegraph Cove:The Rescue of Nanoose (C) by Mary Borrowman and Chloe O’Loughlin and illustrated by Jacqueline Wang
Wishing Star Summer (C) by Beryl Young, 

How Come the Best Clues Are Always in the Garbage? (C) by Linda Bailey, 

Who’s Got Gertie? And How Can We Get Her Back? (C) by Linda Bailey, 

What’s a Daring Detective Like Me Doing in the Doghouse? (C) by Linda Bailey, 

What’s a Serious Detective Like Me Doing in Such a Silly Movie? (C) by Linda Bailey, 

Alecia’s Challenge (C) by Sandra Diersch
Offside! (C) by Sandra Diersch
Play On (C) by Sandra Diersch, 

Miga, Quatchi and/et Sumi: The Story of the Vancouver 2010 Mascots (C) by VickiWong/Meomi
, Pick-Up Sticks (C) by Sarah Ellis
The Daring Game (C) by Kit Pearson, 

Awake and Dreaming (C) by Kit Pearson
Magnifico (C) by Victoria Miles, 

Seeds of Time (YA) by kc dyer
Secret of Light (YA) by kc dyer
Shades of Red (YA) by kc dyer
Flight or Fight (YA) by Diane Haynes
Crow Medicine (YA) by Diane Haynes
Gaia Wild (YA) by Diane Haynes
Weeds and Other Stories (YA) by Jacqueline Pearce
Battle of the Bands (YA) by K. L. Denman
Rebel’s Tag (YA) by K. L. Denman
Flood (YA) by James Heneghan
Waiting for Sarah (YA) by James Heneghan
Tangled Web (YA) by Shelley Hrdlitschka
The Greenies (YA) by Myra Paperny
Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen (YA) by Glen Huser, 

Skud (YA) by Dennis Foon, 
Flower Power (YA) by Ann Walsh

Kingdom of Strange (YA) by Shula Klinger

Matt and Jenny in Old Vancouver (C) by Terry Stafford and illustrated by Terry Stafford

On My Walk (C) by Kari-Lynn Winters and illustrated by Christina Leist (coming in Spring 2010)
When Chickens Fly (C) by Kari-Lynn Winters and illustrated by Izabela Bzymek (coming in Fall 2009)
Vancouver – Commercial Drive:Shu-Li and Tamara (C) by Paul Yee and illustrated by Shaoli Wang
Vancouver – Granville Island:Angels Inc. (C) by Bruce McBay and illustrated by Kim La Fave
Vancouver – Stanley Park:Sammy Squirrel and Rodney Raccoon: A Stanley Park Tale (C) by Duane Lawrence

Vancouver Island:
Cougar Cove (C) by Julie Lawson
Under Emily’s Sky (C) by Ann Alma
The Freedom of Jenny (YA) by Julie Burtinshaw, 

Another Kind of Cowboy (YA) by Susan Juby
Vancouver Island – Cowichan Valley:
The Reunion (C) by Jacqueline Pearce
The Tenth Pupil (C) by Constance Horne
Vancouver Island – Cumberland:Red Goodwin (YA) by John Wilson
Vancouver Island – Extension:Trapped by Coal (C) by Constance Horne
Vancouver Island – North:
Le Secret du lac a l’Aigle (C) by Dayle Campbell Gaetz
The Mystery at Eagle Lake (C) by Dayle Campbell Gaetz
 The Whale’s Way (C) by Heather Kellerhals-Stewart
Dead In the Water (YA) by Robin Stevenson
Vancouver Island – Saanich Peninsula:
Chasing the Moon (C) by Penny Chamberlain, 

Rebel of Dark Creek (Book #1, StableMates) (C) by Nikki Tate
Team Trouble at Dark Creek (Book #2, StableMates) (C) by Nikki Tate, 

Jessa Be Nimble, Rebel Be Quick (Book #3, StableMates) (C) by Nikki Tate
Sienna’s Rescue (Book #4, StableMates) (C) by Nikki Tate
Raven’s Revenge (Book #5, StableMates) (C) by Nikki Tate
Keeping Secrets at Dark Creek (Book #7, StableMates) (C) by Nikki Tate
Vancouver Island – West Coast:Dead Reckoning (YA) by Julie Burtinshaw
Jo’s Journey (C) by Nikki Tate
Discovering Emily (C) by Jacqueline Pearce, 

Emily’s Dream (C) by Jacqueline Pearce
Mystery from History (C) by Dayle Campbell Gaetz, 
Under Emily’s Sky (C) by Ann Alma
Maggie and the Chocolate War (C) by Michelle Mulder
The Olden Days Locket (C) by Penny Chamberlain, 

Emily Carr’s Woo (C) by Constance Horne, 

The Golden Rose (C) by Dayle Campbell Gaetz
A Sea Lion Called Salena (C) by Dayle Campbell Gaetz, 

Awake and Dreaming (C) by Kit Pearson, 

No Problem (YA) by Dayle Campbell Gaetz, 

Out of Order (YA) by Robin Stevenson
White Jade Tiger (YA) by Julie Lawson
West Vancouver:Never To Be Told (C) by Becky Citra
Whistler:Miga, Quatchi and/et Sumi: The Story of the Vancouver 2010 Mascots (C) by VickiWong/Meomi

 Not included in the CWILL list:

Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen
Vancouver Nightmare by Eric Wilson
The Jade Necklace by Paul Yee

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Where can I find resources for...

Air Quality and Climate Change

Online resource - Planet Protector Academy - Dreamrider Theatre Productions. "The Planet Protector Academy is an interactive classroom-based program for grades 3 to 6 that is proven to help communities meet their climate, energy, and transportation goals."

In-class - Climate Change Showdown - BC Sustainable Energy Association. "The Climate Change Showdown is an interactive environmental workshop and contest for students in grades 4 to 7. In each 90-minute workshop, our Environmental Educators use storytelling, a fun DVD and games to build on students’ knowledge of climate change."

Online resource - Climate Justice in BC: Lessons for Transformation Grades 8 -12

"Are you looking for new ways to teach about climate change and social justice? Frustrated with models that stop at changing light bulbs and driving smart cars?

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the BC Teachers’ Federation have teamed up to create free classroom-ready materials that help students engage with the two great inconvenient truths of our time: climate change and rising inequality. And we don’t stop at small-scale personal choices, climate justice looks to how we can re-imagine the systems around us to make a better life for everyone."


HASTe - Hub for Active School Travel. Promote walking and cycling to school.

TravelSmart by Translink "TravelSmart helps people make better travel choices by offering tips and tools on cycling, walking, carpooling and taking transit across Metro Vancouver. You can find us at community events, providing workshops at schools and businesses or getting the conversation started on our blog."


Field Trip - Visit the Coquitlam or Seymour Watershed. Cost includes transportation. Grades 4 & 5. Grade 8 and 10 programs available at Seymour-Capilano Water Treatment Facility. Call 604 432 6359 or email :

Programs - Fraser River Discovery Centre, New Westminster:

Inspired by the River - Grades K-6
Living Dinosaurs - Grades K-7
From Pollution to Solution - Grades 2-5
Whose Job Is It Anyway? - Grades 2-5
Fraser Trade Brigade - Grades 4-7
Our Bones Are Made of Salmon - Grades 4-7
The Trading Trail - Grades 4-7
Taking the Pulse of the Fraser - Grades 6-9

Earth and Soil

Website - Earthquakes at Natural Resources Canada - maps show regional earthquake data and safety information

Book (Teacher) - Vancouver, City on the Edge. John Clague and Bob Turner. "Rocks, landforms, volcanoes, the Ice Age, earthquakes, landslides & water issues in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia".

Energy Conservation

The Classroom Energy Diet Challenge. Presented by Canadian Geographic and Shell.

Programs - Electricity, Safety and Conservation by BC Hydro. Grades K, 1-3, 6, 8-12.

Gardens and Outdoor Classrooms

Waste Management

Movie - The Clean Bin Project, 2010. Filmed in Vancouver. A local couple strive to live without producing any garbage for one year.

Movie - Just Eat It: A Food Waste Movie. 2014. Can be streamed from the Knowledge Network.

Field Trip - Metro Vancouver Facilities Tours. Seymour-Capilano Water Treatment Facility, Waste to Energy Tours, and Wastewater Treatment Plant Tours. Contact the Sustainability Education Coordinator at 604 432 6200 or email

Wildlife, Ecosystems and Habitat Enhancement

Field Trips - Metro Vancouver Parks. Programs are typically 2 hours long and cost $70 for every 15 students. For example, a class of 1-15 students costs $70, 16-30 students = $140 etc.

Grades given below are suggestions only. Any of our programs can be adjusted to suit the age level of your group.
  • BFF: Big Friendly Forest Pre K - Gr. 1
  • Curious About Creatures K - 7
  • Ecosystem Safari Gr. 3 - 4
  • Nature Explorers Pre K to K
  • Pond Peeking K-4
  • Salmon Rainforest Gr 2 - 6
  • Seashore Sleuths K - Gr. 4
  • Signs of the Season Pre K - Gr. 1
  • Tiny Transformers K - Gr. 2
  • Wonderful Water Gr. 2 - 5

Guest Speaker - Bear Aware (Wild Safe BC) - contact your municipality.

Resource - Burke Mountain Naturalists. Links to Stewardship groups, wildlife rescues etc. BMN recently published a very nice nature guide for local parks aimed at children. You can download it, or request free copies!

Program - Nature and Climate. Sierra Club BC. Grades 1-2, 3-5 and 6-8.

Volunteer Opportunities - The Lower Mainland Green Team. Remove invasive plants, plant native species, tend gardens and pick up litter at a green space near you!

Wild BC teacher workshops - Project Wet, Project Wild, Get Outdoors and Growing Up Wild

Wild School Program Kits - to accompany your favourite activities from Project Wild!

Programs - Fraser River Discovery Centre, New Westminster:

Inspired by the River - Grades K-6
Living Dinosaurs - Grades K-7
From Pollution to Solution - Grades 2-5
Whose Job Is It Anyway? - Grades 2-5
Fraser Trade Brigade - Grades 4-7
Our Bones Are Made of Salmon - Grades 4-7
The Trading Trail - Grades 4-7
Taking the Pulse of the Fraser - Grades 6-9

First Nations

Program - Our Bones are Made of Salmon. Fraser River Discovery Centre. ProD workshop based on school program available. "The workshop will include a storytelling film and hands-on exploration of fishing replicas. Educators will learn about Aboriginal peoples' relationships to the Fraser River and hear valuable lessons from our Advisory Committee about the inclusion of Aboriginal learning strategies in the program."

Food Systems

Movie - Just Eat It: A Food Waste Movie. 2014. Can be streamed from the Knowledge Network.

Celebrating and Promoting our Success

BC Green Games by Science World - celebrate, promote and win prizes!

SEEDS Green Schools Canada. Registration is now FREE.

Coquitlam Environmental Achievement Awards. Nominate a Coquitlam teacher! Or get someone to nominate YOU :-)


All of the Above

Magazine - Clearing: A Resource Journal of Environmental and Place-based Education. FREE! Supporting the Pacific Northwest.

Magazine - Green Teacher . "Our quarterly Green Teacher magazine offers perspectives on the role of education in creating a sustainable future, practical articles and ready to use activities for various age levels, and reviews of dozens of new educational resources."

Ask for a free sample... (I have sample copies)! By subscription, or included in an EEPSA membership. Also available in French.

EEPSA - The Environmental Educators Provincial Specialist Association. "EEPSA is a dynamic volunteer organization promoting networking, curriculum support, and leadership in environmental education supported by the BCTF." Available on Facebook and Twitter.

Resources for Rethinking"Resources for Rethinking is a project developed by Learning for a Sustainable Future. It provides teachers access to lesson plans, curriculum units and other teaching resources that integrate environmental, social and economic spheres through learning that is interdisciplinary and action oriented. We call this learning Education for Sustainable Development or ESD.

Each R4R resource has been reviewed by an experienced classroom teacher and matched to relevant curriculum outcomes for all provinces and territories in Canada"

Also in FRENCH!

Ressources pour Repenser.  "Le répertoire Ressources pour repenser, un projet de l'Education au service de la Terre, fournit aux enseignants un meilleur accès à d'excellentes et de pertinentes ressources en matière de l'éducation pour le développement durable.

L'éducation pour le développement durable (ÉDD) intègre les sphères écologique, sociale et économique à travers un apprentissage actif, pertinant et interdisciplinaire.

Chaque ressource mentionnée dans Ressources pour repenser a fait l’objet d’un examen par un enseignant d’expérience; les ressources ont aussi été associées aux résultats d’apprentissage pertinents pour chacun des territoires et chacune des provinces au Canada."

Friday, August 2, 2013

Clearing Magazine - Environmental Education for the "Pacific Northwest"

Do you follow Clearing magazine? Clearing used to come out in a hard copy and came to me as part of my EEPSA membership. Now it's digital, and FREE, although becoming a friend and making a donation is always appreciated :-)

I love the idea of having a resource that offers a regional perspective... check it out!

Share your favourite resources - email me! I'll put them on the blog!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Survey says...

Wow! Thank you so much for the quick, yet thoughtful responses. I see that some of you wanted to change the wording on my questions, and I've been thinking that a format of rate-these-responses would have produced a different type of response, but I'm really happy with what's come in so far.

The results, thus far, have given me a hint about how "teaching green" can grow and evolve in our district. It is clear that teaching sustainable thinking is a bigger influence than any of the other questions that I put to you.

For ProD for the upcoming year, I'm thinking of Metro Vancouver's "Shift Happens" - a great, energizing and fun workshop that will give you lots of new things to think about. I'm also looking into Backyard Biodiversity from Wild BC, although I'm really tempted by Project Wet, also through Wild BC. And I haven't forgotten the surge of interest in touring the Waste Water facilities... 

So... I'm up for setting up something for September... what are your thoughts? Email me!

When September dawns, I'll be asking for a roll call - so many will have changed locations, and I'd like to check in and see how your needs have changed.

Here are the write in responses so far:

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The EECOM conference in Victoria, BC

Happy Summer, Everyone, and Happy 4th Anniversary to the Green Teachers Network! I'd love to hear about your projects, questions, concerns and ProD ideas and suggestions. Use my work email - I do check it over the summer.

I'm drafting this from the EECOM conference in Victoria. EECOM is the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication, and this conference marks its 20th anniversary.

Late June is a really challenging time for a classroom teacher to attend a conference, but the conference moves around the country, so I really wanted to attend while it was relatively close.

The presentations have all been short and dynamic, with most sessions allowing 20 minutes per speaker.On the first day, that meant 6 sessions, a keynote panel and a dinner event with a special invitation for Victoria-area teachers to attend. Thus, the need to blog... I just had to sort through all this new information, and mentally clear space for more to come.

Friday (the day I drafted this) is Field Trip Day. After our morning working groups sessions, we're off to explore! I opted for the UVic and area guided tour with Bill Dancer. I loved every minute of it! We checked on the osprey nest on campus, climbed Mt. Tolmie, watching bird and butterflies with every step (including Turkey Vultures), and walked through Mystic Vale, where we spotted some very out-of-place goldfish. A four hour walking tour was a sharp contrast to a full day of sessions, but totally worth it!

Teaching with passion has been an underlying theme to all of my sessions. It's not in any of the titles, but it's clearly stated by this amazing group of educators; teach with passion - teach YOUR passion, and your students will always benefit from your enthusiasm.

You know you're a tourist when you take pictures of the deer instead of complaining about them.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

That Busy Time of Year... the one before June

On the calendar:

May 15: the Learning Team celebration is now the Professional Learning Exchange! As always, in the gym at Winslow, from 3:30 - 5:00 pm.
With a different format this year, be sure to look for yours truly holding down the fort on behalf of the Green Teachers Network.

May 22: The Vancouver Aquarium and the Institute for Environmental Learning (and others, I'm sure) are co-hosting a pechakucha-style evening (No, I can't pronounce that. Can you?)  "...for teachers to present their experiences with incorporating environmental learning into their curriculum to other middle and high school teachers." Interested in joining us? I'll be there sharing my Home Ec (mis)adventures. They're going to let us play in the Wet Lab afterwards!

May 25: The Environmental Educator's PSA is holding their AGM at the Fraser River Discovery Centre in New Westminster from 11 - 2. Come and check out the Discovery Centre, enjoy a free lunch and chat with other educators who share an interest in environmental teaching and learning. You don't need to be an EEPSA member to attend, but you do if you want to vote, or run for an Executive position.

Late May or early June: Green Drinks to discuss Pro D opportunities and plans for next year, and to add some new faces to the LSA executive. Check your email for details, or just email Laurelei. You know where to find me.

Guilty as charged and pleased to share my procrastinations with you.

Friday, April 5, 2013

April Pro D - Get Outdoors!

Decisions, decisions... there is a Get Outdoors workshop planned for Seaview elementary on April 19th in the morning, and there is a full day of Pro D fun in Stanley Park. Contact Laurelei for the Seaview one or Anita (below) for the Stanley Park event.

Get Outdoors! Strategies to support environmental learning and experience using the outdoor classroom
A workshop for elementary school teachers
You don't need to be an expert naturalist to use the outdoor classroom effectively!  Discover and explore experiential strategies to enrich student learning in any subject area while also connecting them to nature.  Add to your knowledge of fascinating flora and fauna while exploring beautiful Stanley Park.
Explore place-based curriculum strategies and meet Clifford Knapp a respected place-based curriculum specialist and invited co-presenter.

Participants will receive:
§  Get Outdoors: An Educator’s Guide to Outdoor Classrooms in Parks, School Grounds and other Special Places a new resource packed full of fun and practical strategies for taking students outdoors. 
§  Urban Stewards: Environmental Action Lesson Plans CD, a teacher resource containing 12 complete science units, background information and engaging hands on activities.
§  Environmental Educator’s Provincial Specialist Association (EEPSA) Membership, including a one year subscription to Green Teacher Magazine
§  A new Metro Vancouver Satellite Map
§  Links to local partners and resources to enhance outdoor teaching and learning.
Please be prepared to go outside – rain or shine.  Please bring your own lunch. Snacks and beverages will be provided.
When           Friday April 19, 2013 - 9 a.m. – 2:30 pm (registration opens at 8:30 am)
Where          Stanley Park Ecology Society, Vancouver
Stanley Park Dining Pavilion, 610 Pipeline Road, 2nd floor. Please note the Pavilion is not actually on Pipeline Road, but is between Malkin Bowl and the Stanley Park bus loop (to the east of Pipeline Road). It is easily accessed by the #19 Stanley Park bus.
Cost             $30 Please bring exact cash only.
To register   call 604-257-6907 or email