“Using a Book as a Stepping Stone to Exploration”
A good book serves as a stepping stone to further explorations. Before I wrote The Adima Chronicles, I spent many years teaching teachers how to use writing and technology to support their students’ learning across the curriculum. Here are two of my favorite activities:
I. Creation and Origin Myths
A powerful way to use stories to encourage writing is to use them as a springboard for other activities. After reading how the rhino got its wrinkled skin or how the leopard got its spots in Kipling’s “Just So Stories,” for example, most students are primed to imagine just about anything. From these imaginations, they can make up their own stories about how something came to be like it is. This writing activity also can be extended by adding illustrations and using the internet and resource books to discover the evolution of the animals the students have written about.
This basic idea also can be easily adapted for older grades. For example, my first book in The Adima Chronicles, “Adima Rising,” creates a parallel world. The rules of this world, and the interaction between the world of light and our usual world, are a crucial part of the story. Older students can use this idea as a springboard for world building by creating their own worlds, including that world’s people, creatures, actions, and natural rules. Teachers can further expand this exploration through science—if a being can jump across a ravine, how strong would it have to be or how weak would gravity have to be?
Books also can serve as stepping stones to understanding other cultures and beliefs. In “Adima Rising,” there are many references to Rory’s anthropologist father and past cultures in the Americas. This is a rich starting point for an exploration into the advanced technologies of ancient cultures. In the forthcoming second book, “Adima Returning,” there is a great deal of information about Kachinas. Teachers could use these books as stepping stones to historical research.
Areas to consider:
Differences between Kachina dolls, Kachina dancers, and Kachinas.
History of Pueblo Bonito.
Artists of the Southwest.
The decimation and near extinction of buffalo herds.
Anthropological finds in Peru.
Advanced cultures in South America.
Religious practices of different cultures.
Together, these activities foster creative thinking and independent learning—two skills children and teens need for academic success.
About the Author: Steve Schatz grew up in New Mexico, where, as a teen, he dug a kiva in his back yard, He has traveled all over the US, discovering how other people see the world. He has been a tour guide, party clown, TV producer, business owner and, for the last several years a professor of learning theory. Always interested in things spiritual, a life changing experience brought him to the idea for Adima Rising and spiritual guidance during the tricky parts. He spends most of his time writing in a little house in a little town next to Yokum Brook. Steve Schatz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.AdimaRising.com.
About the Books:
BOOK ONE of The Adima Chronices: ADIMA RISING
For millennia, the evil Kroledutz have fed on the essence of humans and clashed in secret with the Adima, the light weavers of the universe. Now, with the balance of power shifting toward darkness, time is running out. Guided by a timeless Native American spirit, four teenagers from a small New Mexico town discover they have one month to awaken their inner power and save the world. Rory, Tima, Billy, and James must solve four ancient challenges by the next full moon to awaken a mystical portal and become Adima. If they fail, the last threads of light will dissolve, and the universe will be lost forever. Can they put aside their fears and discover their true natures before it’s too late?
The sacred cliff is crumbling, and with it the Adima way of life. Battling time and evil forces, four friends must race to move the cliff before it traps all Adima on Earth–and apart from the Spheres–forever!
Adima Returning, the spellbinding second book of The Adima Chronicles, mesmerizes from beginning to end as Rory and his friends travel the light web and multiple planes of existence to gain help from the creatures who guard the Adima’s most powerful objects, the Olohos. There is only one path to success: convince the guardians to help. Fail and the cliff dissolves, destroying the Spheres and all Adima.
Like the exciting adventures of Adima Rising, Adima Returning will have your senses reeling right up until its across-worlds climax. Will the teens be able to prove the impossible possible (and save the world!) once again? Join the Adima adventure, and explore a world where teens can lead the way to a new reality.
Thank you, Steve, for the post, and Denise, from Absolute Love Publishing, for getting it to us!