Friday, April 15, 2016

Louisiana Author, Lynda Deniger and her book, Patty Pelican and the Gulf Oil Spill

I have been neglectful of my blog recently, partially due to personal illness. But I wish to continue sharing with you some of my favorite authors and their books.

One of my favorite authors, Lynda Deniger, is a little-known story-teller from Abita Springs, Louisiana.

Lynda has written two books for children that tell about a little shrimp boat and his friends, Sammy Seagull, Patti Pelican and Dottie Dolphin. Lynda’s book bring Louisiana traditions to life and will delight children everywhere. Included with the books are CDs with songs children can sing along with about the stories. Lynda has been a performer since the age of three. Whenever she presents her books, she gets into character and grabs the audience’s attention with her whimsical showmanship.
One of her books, Patty Pelican and the Gulf Oil Spill, centers on that tragic event and teaches children about the ecological balance of animals, birds and fish that inhabit our coastlines. Her website contains lots of ideas and activities for teachers to incorporate into lessons about saving the environment.
Lynda’s books are available on Amazon and her website:

 Here are some activities you may wish to use with your children or students that coordinate with Lynda's books:
NOTE: These activities were designed/created by some of my former college students, Holly Duplechin, Felicia Morris, and Jessica Ford, who by now are full-fledged elementary teachers! Good job, ladies!

To Model an Oil Spill you will need the following materials:

  • Plastic bottle (half filled with water)
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa
  • Plastic cup
  • Funnel
Here are the directions to make the model oil spill:

  1. Mix the oil and cocoa in a cup.
  2. Add the oil mixture to already prepared bottle of water.
  3. Discuss what happens when the oil hits the water, how the water and oil react to one another, how this could occur, and what dangers do the students think could be caused by an oil spill.
  4. In closing, ask the children/students to share and discuss what they observed and concluded with the completion of this demonstration.

To simulate oil clean-up and determine the best material to use you will need the following materials:
    • Clear plastic tub 
    • Yellow vegetable oil
    • A Tablespoon to use for measuring
    • Cheese cloth or gauze
    • Cotton balls
    • Polypropylene cloth (used in sports clothing) 

    To simulate oil clean-up and determine the best material to use you will need the following materials:


    Use the tablespoon to add oil to the water until there is an oil slick.

    Record and discuss your prediction as to which item will remove the oil better.

    Use each of the items one at a time and try to remove the oil. Record your observations.

    Determine and discuss which item actually removed the most oil and the least water. 

    To observe the effect of oil in the water on bird feathers and simulate clean-up effort you will need the following materials:

    2 clear plastic tubs half filled with water
    1/2 cup of yellow vegetable oil
    1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
    2-3 craft feathers
    Dishwashing detergent

    Drop a feather into clean water and observe/record what happens and how the feather looks.
    Add oil and cocoa (mixed together) to one of the tubs of water.
    Record and discuss your predictions as to what will happen when the feather is dropped into the clean water; do the same for the oil/cocoa water.
    Discuss the effect this would have on the birds.
    Wash the oil/cocoa feather with dishwashing detergent.
    Record your observations.
    Discuss your findings.

    Make a list of your favorite seafood dishes. Look up recipes for these dishes on the web and create a cookbook together. Discuss how oil spills would affect the seafood industry. Choose one recipe to prepare and share together. Enjoy!

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