CritterKin is both a children’s media property and a story-driven, project based learning approach to education. It is based on the belief that every child, regardless of his or her learning style, has something important to contribute to the world, and that education is an ongoing, iterative process best accomplished by teaching the whole child.
At the simplest level CritterKin is a series of children’s books written and illustrated by Jena Ball. the books are designed to teach children that animals (critters) are family (kin). Fundamental to the CritterKin mission is the belief that emotional education is as important as any intellectual skills we can teach. Children need opportunities to experience and practice empathy, compassion and respect in order to develop into caring, responsible adults.
Experience and research (please see Dr. Gail Melson’s article in Psychology Today) have taught us that animals are an ideal way to introduce emotional lessons, and the CritterKin books do just that. Based on the lives of eight goofy mixed breed mutts and their pack leader Ms. Jenaia, the stories tackle important topics such as being different, bullying, special needs and prejudice. The stories are told from the dogs’ perspectives, which allow them to unfold in entertaining, non-judgmental ways that engage children’s hearts and minds. Read more about them here: http://critterkin.com/
About CritterKin and Project Based Learning
We’d been reading the CritterKin stories to children all across the U.S. and Canada for about two months when we realized there was the potential to expand the learning activities. This led to the development of a series of project based learning campaigns that give children a chance to experience and apply their emotional lessons in real world settings. As an added bonus, we’re discovering that by collaborating with teachers of different grade levels and involving community organizations we are able to use the stories and themes to teach more traditional lessons as well. To learn more about CrittterKin project based learning and see samples of actual projects, visit our Success Stories page: http://critterkin.com/success-stories/
For Information About Author Visits Contact Jena
Phone: (919) 454-9917
Copyright 2013 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.