more ideas visit
individuals and small groups
to support Operation Migration
to visit the cranes on this educational website
Project is Featured
in the January 2007 issue of the
Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario (COEO) Newsletter
is the text that appeared in the newsletter:
CRANES IN ORILLIA
Black is an enthusiastic Grade 2/3 teacher at Harriett Todd Public
School in Orillia, Ontario. Last fall, she began teaching an
integrated unit on the Ultralight aircraft guided migration of 18
juvenile Whooping Cranes from Wisconsin to Florida. It was
overseen to a successful completion by the Operation Migration group
from Port Perry, Ontario, and with the able assistance of enthusiastic
eight year-olds learning about how they can make a positive difference
in the world. For more information on this great project, go to: http://har.scdsb.on.ca/mblack/whoopers
Class Donates a Whooping Crane Book
to the School Library
On January 12th,
2007, our class donated a book to the Harriett Todd Public School
Library. "Whoop Dreams: The Historic Migration," was
originally given to our class by the author, Jane Duden, who is also the
Whooping Crane editor at Journey
North. Ours will be the first book about Whooping Cranes
to grace the shelves of the school library. In the photo, Alex, a
student in our class, is presenting the book to Mrs. Renton, the school
librarian. In addition to the book, they are holding a photo of
Jane Duden, posing with items our class sent to her, at her home in
Minneapolis, to commemorate the completion of the 2006 fall migration.
Forest Valley Outdoor Education Centre!
December 10, 2006
e-mail from Sandee Sharpe, Site Supervisor at the Toronto District
School Board's Outdoor Education Centre:
- talk about teaching from the heart. Your students are so
fortunate to be part of experiential meaningful learning - and one that
holds the importance of community, at all levels, at its core. The
website is fantastic - and yet, the life lessons of caring, community
and respect are what blow me away. Congratulations on your new
permanent position. You bring so much to everyone you interact
with, that I am delighted to hear that things are falling into place for
you as well.
NOTE: Up until four days ago, I was a "Long Term
Occasional" (fill-in) teacher with the Simcoe County District
School Board. At Harriett Todd P.S., I have been filling in for a
Grade 2/3 teacher who is on "paternity leave" from September
to May. This past Wednesday, after over three years working
"occasional jobs," I was finally granted a permanent teaching
position, two afternoons a week, at another school. The Principal
at Harriett Todd P.S. has agreed to bring in another teacher, two
afternoons a week, so I can job-share the paternity leave position that
I have been filling for her AND work the permanent job elsewhere!]
Visits "Whooping Crane Central"!
December 7, 2006, Rick Clendinning, of A-Channel Television, came to
class to tape a segment about our Whooping Crane project, for the
here to view more images.
The Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario!
November 27, 2006
e-mail from Grant Linney, of COEO,
re: our "Whooping Crane Central" classroom and integrated
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story. While this may not
be outdoor education per se, you are so right to spread this good news.
I will be sure to share it in COEO's next electronic newsletter.
I encourage you to share this story further afield. An example that
comes to mind is the Ontario College of Teachers magazine. I intend to
send it to the list serve of EEON, Environmental Education Ontario.
You have provided your students with a wonderful and empowering
connection to their natural surroundings. I believe that you could
entrench this learning even deeper if you were somehow able to take your
students outdoors. Perhaps you could do a follow-up looking at birds
that stay in the Orillia area all winter. There is a wonderful little
book called "That Chickadee Feeling" (by Canadian Frank Glew)
and it describes how you can get chickadees to feed out of the palm of a
child's hand. At the outdoor centre where I work, we wait till there's
snow on the ground (i.e., it's getting hard for chickadees to find
food). Then, we put out a chipboard cut in the shape of a child with an
outstretched hand and a glove on it. We put black-oiled sunflower on the
glove and then wait for the chickadees to come. Once they are in the
habit of visiting "the hand," we transfer the seed from the
glove to the hand of a few-at-a-time patient little souls, encouraging
them to be as still and patient as possible. The rest of us watch from
further back. And, of course, we take turns be observers and
participants. It really is quite amazing when these little creatures
land on a child's hand ... and then get comfortable enough to
actually stay on the hand as they eats their seed.
A couple of other things: Get some advice from a local birder as to
where to locate the hand ... it would be great if it could be right in
your schoolyard. You might have to put it away each evening so that the
older kids don't remove it. As to sanitary concerns, chickadees do not
carry avian flu, and handwashing with soap and water will address any
concerns re germs.
Thanks again, for doing this with your kids, and for taking the time to
share with others. And, please, tell your kids how thrilled and proud we
are with all their efforts!
All the best,
COEO past president
the Journey North
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2006 11:12:41 -0600
From: Jane Duden
I just took the time to read your WHOLE website and I was so thrilled with your wonderful students and the forum you are giving them for
their passion and activism. It is so much fun to see all your photos, and the huge amount of commitment to this study. I was so
pleased to see your generous feature of Journey North materials, too----and in today's report, I updated with the news about hearing
back from the ExxonMobil representative!
I would like to offer to send your dear craniacs a copy of Whoop Dreams: the Historic Migration. I hope you don't feel I'm being
presumptuous---I just thought it would find a happy home in your classroom. I just want to verify the address to be sure the postal
code is right (web search).
Harriett Todd PS
Orillia, Ontario, CA L3VXXX
I would also like to ask permission to use some of the photos from your website to keep highlighting your classroom. It makes us all
feel like we're on the same team!
Congratulations, Margaret on being the kind of teacher we'd ALL love our children to have.
Jane Duden, Journey North
Florida Pen Pals!
November 13, 2006 e-mail
from Mrs. H., teacher at Coleman Middle School, in Tampa,
Thank you so much for writing. My class has investigated your
website and were very excited to see that Tampa is mentioned on
it. We are about 65 miles south of where the birds
touchdown. I am planning to go to film them when they come into
Crystal River next month. Hopefully, we will be out for winter holidays
by then. If not, I have one of my retired friends ready to
go. Each of my students has adopted at least one bird.
Amazingly enough, many of the bird personalities are quite similar to
the students. We seem to be able to predict which ones are going
to be naughty! My classroom consists of 13 students, ages 11-15,
all of whom are mildly mentally handicapped. he average level is
about 2nd grade in both reading and math, with some hitting the far ends
of the bell curve.
I was in Calgary in July and then again in September. I will be
there again for American Thanksgiving next week. I am hoping to go
by the Calgary Zoo where some of the birds were hatched. Last year
our project was raising seahorses but this has been far more
successful. We are working on letters to your class and we will
send pictures as well. I don't know that we will be able to
translate any into French! There are some classes in our
neighboring counties who are also following the migration. I will
send info to you as I get it.
My parents are from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick so my heart is very
much in Canada. Looking forward to communicating with your class.
Our class, enjoying
pictures and letters from our pen pals in Florida!
Our Kentucky Pen Pals!
November 2, 2006 e-mail from
Lori Trout, teacher at John F. Kennedy Montessori School, in Louisville,
Margaret Black! I did not get to my email in the past 2
days. Not enough hours in a day! Your website is amazing!
I heard from Ellie Morse too! Let me know if your students would
like to have "pen pals" from Kentucky too!
What I would like to offer -- if it works out this year -- is to send
you a video or pictures of the cranes when they fly out of Muscatatuck,
IN. Last year I went (and my husband took pictures). My
videos leave tons to be desired -- clouds, trees, then maybe a bouncing
bird and voila! sometimes an ultralight. you never know how
small they are until you try to find them in that little window in the
camera! If they don't go up and it's the weekend the crew usually
comes out to visit the audience. I have a great CD of them last
year. Let me know.
I'll look forward to hearing from a fellow teacher craniac.
Our class, posing with the introductory letters to their Kentucky pen pals!
enjoying letters, Louisville brochures,
an Indiana "fly-over event" slide-show
and a flyover/OM classroom visit DVD
sent to us by our pen pals in Kentucky!
"in Honour of Our Class"!
October 31, 2006 e-mail from Chris Danilko, at Operation
Migration, re: a "MileMaker Sponsorship":
thought you'd like to know that someone donated a mile today in honor of
your class, mile #353!
Sponsoring a mile of Operation
Migration's travel expenses, between Wisconsin and Florida, costs
$232. Cdn ($206. U.S.) This sponsorship was made by someone we
don't even know! The children and I are absolutely thrilled
that our Whooping Crane project inspired her donation. Thank you SO
MUCH to the generous sponsor. News of your sponsorship made our
Texas Pen Pals!
October 30, 2006 e-mail from Ellie Morse, Third Grade teacher at Poe
Elementary School, in Houston, Texas:
Margaret, my name
is Ellie Morse and I have just read Liz's mail and the information you
posted on the OM guest page. I have 120 third graders
and I would love to have some kind of writing experience to go with this
awesome crane migration. I could either do email or
"snail mail", and if you would like to participate, please let
me know via my school mail, email@example.com. Looking
forward to hearing from you! ellie
class, enjoying the first shipment of letters
from our Texas pen pals!
Our Class Project
Featured on the Operation Migration Website!
Posted on the Operation
Migration web page, October 30, 2006:
30th, 2006 -
Progress & Comparison Graph
||Migration Day 26 -
Kids Take Action - USA
Kids Take Action - Canada
Kids and Teachers 'Rock'!
OM on National Geographic's Wild Chronicles video
Now there are even more Craniac Kids
Joining the kids at Louisville Kentucky's John F. Kennedy
Montessori School in writing to ExxonMobil is a class from
the Harriett Todd Public School in Orillia, Ontario (about
1.5 hours north of OMís main office). Their teacher,
Margaret Black also sent us copies of her students letters
as well as some photos and we posted them to a special
website page as we did for their US counterparts. (Click
the link above)
What's more, Eleanor Morse, a teacher from Houston, Texas
is now in touch with Louisville's Lori Trout and Orillia's
Margaret Black. There's talk of the kids becoming penpals.
Don't you just love it when an idea catches on? It's like
it takes on a life of its own!
Thanks and kudos to the kids for their interest, support,
and all their work writing the letters. Our sincere
gratitude also goes to the teachers who are shaping the
minds of those into whose hands we will be turning over
the future of our wildlife, our environment - our world.
If Lori, Margaret and Eleanor are the standard, we 'old
folk' don't have a darn thing to worry about.
Operation Migration - Field Journal - Current
Packet & Times Newspaper Article
about our class' Whooping Crane Project!
October 27, 2006:
image to view article)
Greetings from the Operation
October 18, 2006 e-mail from Liz Condie, at Operation
Migration, re: our "Whooping Crane Central" classroom
and integrated study unit:
not impressed - - I'm amazed!!! Wow- what a lot of work you have
put into this for your kids. We are so glad you could put the
extra 'goodies' we sent to good use.
your kids do some letter writing to Exxon, please make some colour
photocopies and send them to me - I'll reimburse you for the copy cost
and mailing. I would love to add them to the Craniac Kids Take
Action 'letter gallery' on our website.
so much for the MileMaker sponsorship too. Much appreciated. That
was very generous on top of everything else you are doing.
keep in touch. There is nothing we like hearing about more than what the
guardians of our future are up to.
COO, Director of Communications & Fund Development
800-675-2618 or 905-982-1096
OPERATION MIGRATION... where imagination, innovation, and ingenuity
produce unique science.