For Teachers

Ideas for using Kimberly’s books in the classroom:

Extreme Survivors Reader’s Guide

Bay Detective Sheet

Teacher Activity Sheet

Vernal Pool Resources for Teachers

Maine Vernal Pools Project
Provides excellent resources for identifying vernal pools and their inhabitants and detailed information on vernal pool conservation.

The Vernal Pool Association

Encourages vernal pool study, appreciation and protection, particularly by students. Includes resources and links for teachers—and the lively blog, Wicked Big Puddles.

 The picture books below complement the ideas and information in The Secret Pool: 

Frog Heaven: Ecology of a Vernal Pool by Doug Wechsler (Boyds Mills Press, 2006)
This chapter book features excellent photographs and engaging text to provide an in-depth look at life in a Delaware vernal pool throughout the year. The last chapter offers information and inspiration on protecting vernal pools.

Song of the Water Boatman & Other Pond Poems by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Becky Prang (Houghton Mifflin, 2005)

This book combines poetry and science with beautiful woodcuts to celebrate the fascinating life found in ponds—from spring peepers and wood ducks to caddis flies and water bears.

A Wood Frog’s Life, by John Himmelman (Children’s Press, 1998)

Exciting illustrations and clear, simple text provide a fascinating look at life cycle of a wood frog.

A Salamander’s Life, by John Himmelman (Children’s Press, 1998)

What Himmelman did for wood frogs he does for salamanders, offering an intimate glimpse of the lives of these secretive creatures. Both books are part of his Nature UpClose series, published by Children’s press, now an imprint of Scholastic. For more information: and

Big Night for Salamanders, by Sarah Marwil Lamstein, illustrated by Carol Benioff (Boyds Mill Press, 2010)

In this story, a boy and his family help protect salamanders on a rainy spring night as they cross a dangerous road during migration to their vernal pool.

Salamander Rain: A Lake & Pond Journal, by Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini, (Dawn Press, 2001)

A young Planet Scout named Klint chronicles his discoveries as he observes a nearby pond for a year. This combination picture book/field guide/journal invites young readers to take a closer look at the world around them.

 The following books and field guides for adults provide detailed information on vernal pools and other wetlands, and amphibians, invertebrates and wildlife.

Science and Conservation of Vernal Pools in Northeastern North America, Aram J.K. Calhoun and Phillip G. deMaynadier, editors (CRC Press, 2008) This comprehensive text is an excellent and detailed reference.

Vernal Pools: Natural History and Conservation, by Elizabeth A. Colburn (McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company, 2004)

Vernal Pool Lessons and Activities by Nancy Childs and Elizabeth A. Colburn (Massachusetts Audubon Society, 1993)

Field Guide to the Animals of Vernal Pools, by Leo P. Kenney and Matthew Burne (Vernal Pool Association, PO Box 2295, Peabody, MA, 2002; reprinted and MA NHESP, Westboro, MA, 2009)

Swampwalker’s Journal: A Wetlands Year, (Mariner Books, 2001)

In this lovely, informative, and generous hearted book, Carroll shares his deep knowledge and love of wetlands, introducing readers to the mysterious lives of frogs, salamanders, turtles, snakes and more, and reveals the important role these watery places play in the larger web of life. His fine art illustrations complement his clear, eloquent text. 

Maine Amphibians and Reptiles, edited by Malcolm L. Hunter, Aram J.K. Calhoun, and Mark McCollough (The University of Maine Press, 1999)

This comprehensive guide includes common species found throughout New England and Atlantic Canada. It covers habitat, diet, and interactions with other animals and people—plus an excellent narrated CD of all frog and toad songs, making it an all around excellent classroom resource.

Stokes Nature Guides: A Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles, by Thomas F. Tyning (Little, Brown and Company, 1990)

In addition detailed descriptions, this guide includes information on how to find all these creatures, what can be observed, and fascinating facts. Black and white illustrations and range maps round out this guide, which is an excellent resource in the field.

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