Author Feature-Katherine Catmull

 


Spirit of Texas Reading Program

Middle School

Featured Author

Katherine Catmull

Katherine Catmull

Summer and Bird

Katherine Catmull is a writer and actor in Austin, TX. She went to Klein High School north of Houston, left the state to go to college, then came back for graduate school at UT-Austin, and has never left. Her first book, Summer and Bird, was named one of Booklist's 2012 Top Ten First Novels for Youth. The paperback comes out in August 2014. Her next novel, for slightly older teens, comes out in 2015. She is also one of four spooky-storymakers at EnterTheCabinet.com. A collection of their stories, The Cabinet of Curiosities, comes out in May 2014.

Catmull also acts on stage in Austin and used to do voice work for animes, including lots of running and getting-punched sounds. Now you can hear her voice acting in games like DC Universe Online (Oracle) and Wizard 101 (Myrella Windspar). She loves to hear from people who’ve read her books—you can write her at her website.



 

Find her on the web:

Website

Facebook

Tumblr

Twitter

Video Book Review


If you have questions or comments for the Young Adult Round Table, contact the YART webmaster.

Follow Us:

facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon



Book Trailer


If you have questions or comments for the Young Adult Round Table, contact the YART webmaster.

Follow Us:

facebook icon twitter icon YouTube icon



Summer and Bird Book Quiz

Printable Copy

Questions

  1. How do Summer and Bird determine they should go into the forest to find their parents?
  2. How does Bird communicate with the birds?
  3. How does the Puppeteer understand the bird language?
  4. What is the patchwork bird made of?
  5. Who is Ben?
  6. Ben gives Summer three gifts, what are they?
  7. How does Summer enter the Green Home for the first time?
  8. There are two maps to the Green Home. What are they?
  9. Who is Summer's animal friend?
  10. Who is destined to become queen of birds after the swan: Summer or Bird?

Answers

  1. Their mother leaves them a picture letter which they work out together to mean: "I love you both the same. Move fast through the gate."
  2. Bird communicates with the birds by using her voice (songs) and her recorder (flute).
  3. She swallows a living bird. For a few hours, as the bird remains alive inside of her she is able to understand the bird language and hear the "Great Conversation"
  4. The patchwork bird is made of all of the birds the Puppeteer has swallowed in order to hear the bird language. It flies to Summer and Bird to deliver a message that their mother needs them, and that the song is the path that will lead them to her.
  5. Ben befriends Summer in the forest when Bird sets off on her own. He is a phoenix and emerges from the eggwood tree, in which he was imprisoned by the Puppeteer, when Summer and Bird make a small fire using the wood of the tree. Later, he becomes Bens, as he hatches for a new life from the egg left in Summer's care.
  6. Ben gives Summer a red sweater, a pot and an egg.
  7. Summer enters the Green Home for the first time when she is swallowed by the World Snake. After traveling through the snake, she emerges in the Green Home. She returns to the human world by using the crane map.
  8. The two maps to the Green Home are the swan queen and the phoenix (Ben/Bens).
  9. Summer's animal friend is the raven. She has watched Summer since she was born, and Summer is able to speak to her in the same language while they are in the Green Home. They have a special bond and are often able to communicate after their initial visit to the Green Home despite the language barrier. Some students may respond that it is the cat, which is also an acceptable answer, though the cat plays a much smaller role in the story.
  10. Summer is destined to be her mother's successor.


If you have questions or comments for the Young Adult Round Table, contact the YART webmaster.

Follow Us:

facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon



Academic Programs

Printable Copy

Resource Documents

Birds in Our Neighborhood

The purpose of this program is to make students aware of the various birds living in their community. Further, students will examine traits of these birds and how their unique adaptive features compliment their environment.

TEKS

  • 7 (11) Organisms and environments. The student knows that populations and species demonstrate variation and inherit many of their unique traits through gradual processes over many generations. The student is expected to:
    • (A) examine organisms or their structures such as insects or leaves and use dichotomous keys for identification;
    • (B) explain variation within a population or species by comparing external features, behaviors, or physiology of organisms that enhance their survival such as migration, hibernation, or storage of food in a bulb; and
    • (C) identify some changes in genetic traits that have occurred over several generations through natural selection and selective breeding such as the Galapagos Medium Ground Finch (Geospiza fortis) or domestic animals.
  • 7 (13) Organisms and environments. The student knows that a living organism must be able to maintain balance in stable internal conditions in response to external and internal stimuli. The student is expected to:
    • (A) investigate how organisms respond to external stimuli found in the environment such as phototropism and fight or flight; and
    • (B) describe and relate responses in organisms that may result from internal stimuli such as wilting in plants and fever or vomiting in animals that allow them to maintain balance.

Detailed Description of Program

During this program students take a nature walk and begin a nature journal of birds in their community. It will be beneficial for this program to last over the course of several weeks in order for observation of birds in various places, at different times of day, etc. Launch the program with a presentation about birds in the community and their migratory patterns. If possible, take a field trip to your local State Park where park rangers can introduce the birds; however, if a guest speaker and/or field trip is not possible, consult one of the field guides listed in the supporting materials for a brief introduction to the regional birds of Texas. Next have students assemble a science journal (see template at top of page).

Take a 15-20 minute nature walk around the campus/community and write down descriptions or make sketches of any birds observed on the walk. Digital cameras or phones/tablets with camera capabilities will be especially useful when identifying birds. Photos can be printed when the group returns to the Library and pasted into the journals if students prefer that to drawing their own sketches. When you return to the Library, discuss the birds observed and use the birding guides to identify your birds. Students may also keep a record of their observations using the iNaturalist App. This is an excellent way to integrate technology and social media.

Meet weekly to discuss findings as students continue to observe birds in the community. Many state parks offer birding seminars and/or have park rangers available for school presentations.

Finish the project by forming a team to compete in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Great Texas Birding Classic or host a bird watching competition/event in the community where students can serve as guides.

Books to Display or Book Talk

  • Any of the books/pamphlets in the resources section (see section 8 below).
  • Bird by David Burnie (ISBN 978-0-7566-3768-2)
  • Birds, Encyclopedia Britannica Illustrated Science Library (ISBN 978-1-61535-465-8)
  • Chasing birds across Texas: a birding big year by Mark Thomas Adams (ISBN 978-1-58544-295-9)
  • Draw 50 birds : the step-by-step way to draw chickadees, peacocks, toucans, mallards, and many more of our feathered friends by Lee J Ames (ISBN 978-0-329-97677-4)
  • Exploring the great Texas coastal birding trail : highlights of a birding mecca by Mel White (ISBN 978-0-7627-2712-4)
  • Finding birds on the great Texas coastal birding trail : Houston, Galveston, and the upper Texas coast by Ted Eubanks (ISBN 978-1-58544-534-9)
  • Hummingbirds : facts and folklore from the Americas by Jeanette Larson (ISBN 978-1-58089-332-9)

List of Supplies

  • Colored Paper
  • Colored Pencils
  • Pencils
  • Copies of the Journal Template
  • Bird Field Guides appropriate for region
  • Digital cameras
  • Cell phones/tablets with wireless internet for iNaturalist app (optional)

Incentives

  • Participation in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Great Texas Birding Classic – awards given by Texas Parks and Wildlife partners
  • Libraries can create their own awards for most birds found, most birds correctly identified, most colorful bird, etc.

Resources

Websites

Books

  • Tekiela, Stan. Birds of Texas: Field Guide. Cambridge, MN: Adventure Publications, 2004. Print. 

Birding brochures/pamphlets

  • Clark, Gary, and Kathy Adams Clark. Birds of Southeast Texas and the Upper Texas Coast A Guide to Common and Notable Species. N.p.: Quick Reference Pub, 2010. Print.
  • Homel, Greg R. Birds of South Texas Including the Lower Rio Grande Valley A Guide to Common and Notable Species. N.p.: Quick Reference Pub, 2009. Print.
  • Kavanagh, James, and Raymond Leung. Texas Birds: An Introduction to Familiar Species. Blaine, WA: Waterford, 2000. Print.
  • Lasley, Greg. Birds of Central Texas A Guide to Common and Notable Species. Quick Reference Pub, 2009. Print.
  • Lasley, Greg. Birds of North Texas A Guide to Common and Notable Species. Quick Reference Pub, 2010. Print.
  • Lasley, Greg. Birds of Texas Big Bend Country Including Big Bend National Park and Davis Mountains A Guide to Common and Notable Species. Quick Reference Pub, 2010. Print.

Professional Resources

Program Flyers, Poster, Advertisements, Bulletin Board Ideas, Templates, Rubrics, etc.

  • Journal Template (see top of page)


Exploring Sensory Language

Using passages from Summer and Bird, students can explore sensory language and author's craft. The lessons in this activity are modeled after Nancy Dean's Voice Lessons: Classroom Activities to Teach Diction, Detail, Imagery, Syntax (see resources) and should be used as warm-up activities or mini-lessons to complement existing instruction.

TEKS

  • 6 (8) Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Sensory Language. Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about how an author's sensory language creates imagery in literary text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to explain how authors create meaning through stylistic elements and figurative language emphasizing the use of personification, hyperbole, and refrains.
  • 7 (8) Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Sensory Language. Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about how an author's sensory language creates imagery in literary text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to determine the figurative meaning of phrases and analyze how an author's use of language creates imagery, appeals to the senses, and suggests mood.
  • 8 (8) Comprehension of Literary Text/Sensory Language. Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about how an author's sensory language creates imagery in literary text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to explain the effect of similes and extended metaphors in literary text.

Detailed Description of the Program

Teacher will display activity on a projector or distribute individual handouts for each student. Teacher should read quote/passage aloud and ask students to think about the figurative language discussed. Allow students time to think about and answer each question; discuss responses.

Expected time for each activity: 5-7 minutes. See attachments at top of page for mini-lessons.

Books to Display or Book Talk

Any of the titles in the Read-Alikes List

List of Supplies

  • Computer with Projector
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Paper or Word Processor
  • Copies of lesson/questions (if desired)

Incentives

  • Improved STAAR Reading Comprehension Scores
  • Grades 

Resources (print and electronic)

  • Voice Lesson – Imagery
  • Voice Lesson – Syntax

Professional Resources (for librarian and teacher use)

  • Dean, Nancy. Discovering Voice: Voice Lessons for Middle and High School. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House Pub., 2006. Print.
  • Dean, Nancy. Voice Lessons: Classroom Activities to Teach Diction, Detail, Imagery, Syntax, and Tone. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House, 2000. Print.


If you have questions or comments for the Young Adult Round Table, contact the YART webmaster.

Follow Us:

facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon



Active Program

Leadership Camp

Printable Copy

Introduction/Purpose of Program 

In Katherine Catmull's Summer and Bird, Leadership is a key theme. Without the loss and gain of important leadership, the characters never find out who they truly are. In this program, teens learn about and develop leadership abilities.

Detailed Description of Program 

Preparation

Various preparations will be needed based upon the activities chosen.

Activities:

Good leaders are independent, patient, hard-working and inspirational. These traits are generally found in natural born leaders but they can also be taught. Below is a list of just a few leadership skills activities.

    • Minefield RaceThis game is intended for 4 or more players and teaches decision-making skills. The leader must decide the best route to get his/her team to the finish line.
    • Self-evaluationThis is a great exercise to determine what leadership skills a student possesses and what skills need to be honed.
    • Elvis Evolution: This game challenges students to move up the evolutionary ladder to reach the top. It then has them question themselves on how they those who were not as high as they were on the evolutionary chain. (What type of leader are you?)
    • Paper AirplanesThis activity has students thinking about communication and why listening skills are crucial to good leadership.

 See websites below for more activity ideas. 

Program Related Books to Display or Book Talk 

  • Bachmann, Stefan. The Peculiar. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2012. Print.
  • Creech, Sharon. The Great Unexpected. New York: HarperCollins, 2013. Print.
  • Hegland, Jean. Into the Forest. New York: Random House, 1998. Print.
  • Meloy, Colin. Wildwood. New York: HarperCollins, 2012. Print.
  • O'Dell, Kathleen. The Aviary. New York: Random House Childrens Books, 2012. Print.
  • Oliver, Lauren. The Spindlers. New York: HarperCollins, 2013. Print.
  • Schlitz, Laura Amy. Splendors and Glooms. Somerville: Candlewick Press, 2014. Print.
  • Valente, Catherynne M. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. New York: Square Fish, 2012. Print. Fariyland Series 1. 

List of Supplies 

Various preparations will be needed based upon the activities chosen. 

Resources 

Websites

Program Flyers

Leadership Camp Flyer

 

If you have questions or comments for the Young Adult Round Table, contact the YART webmaster.

Follow Us:

facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon



Self-Directed Programs

Printable Copy

Rebus Puzzles

The purpose of this program is for readers to solve Rebus (picture) puzzles similar to the notes referenced in Summer and Bird. 

Using a designated space in the Library (table or display area), provide printed copies of several Rebus picture puzzles of various levels. Consider printing on colored paper to identify the level of difficulty. Participants can work in groups or individually to decode the messages. Include an answer 'book' for checking answers. As a daily/weekly/monthly contest, post one of the puzzles as a contest and have participants submit their answer. Award prizes to the winners. Students can also create their own Rebus puzzles as well. 

Books to Display or Book Talk

  • Balliett, Blue, and Brett Helquist. Chasing Vermeer. New York: Scholastic, 2004. Print. 

This great mystery features another puzzle game: pentominoes! From the publisher:

This bewitching first novel is a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, disguised as an adventure, and delivered as a work of art. When a book of unexplainable occurences brings Petra and Calder together, strange things start to happen: Seemingly unrelated events connect; an eccentric old woman seeks their company; an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal, where no one is spared from suspicion. As Petra and Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth, they must draw on their powers of intuition, their problem solving skills, and their knowledge of Vermeer. Can they decipher a crime that has stumped even the FBI? 

List of Supplies

  • Printed Rebus picture puzzles
  • Pencils
  • Answer 'book' or binder
  • Basket or 'ballot box' for contest entries
  • Contest entry forms 

Incentives

Small prizes such as posters, signed bookmarks, etc.

Resources

Websites

Books

  • Clarity Media. Rebus: 100 Picture Phrase Puzzles. Vol. 1. New York: CreateSpace Independent Platform, 2012. Print.
  • Fremont, Victoria, and Ted Lavish. Rebus Word and Picture Puzzles. New York: Dover Publiications, 1995. Print. Dover Little Activity Books.
  • Martin, Pat, Joanne Kelly, and Kay Grabow. Rebuses for Readers. Englewood, CO: Teacher Ideas, 1992. Print.
  • Weissinger, Norbert. 1001 Word Rebuses. New York: AuthorHouse, 2005. Print.

Professional Resources

  • One of the best examples of the Rebus puzzles like those found in Summer and Bird can be found on the underside of Lone Star beer bottle caps. While the bottle caps themselves may not be appropriate for your library, many of the phrases and pictures are school appropriate. http://thismatters.net/hobbies/lonestar/
  • Site for making your own Rebus worksheets 

 Program Flyers, Poster, Advertisements, Bulletin Board Ideas, Templates, Rubrics, etc.

  • Display student created Rebus puzzles
  • Bulletin board featuring a Rebus puzzle of the day


Origami Birds 

The purpose of this program is for readers to create their own unique origami birds.

Display instructions for making several styles of Origami birds (see resources TBD) along with various colors of paper. Participants may make a bird to either hang in the library or to take home. Consider holding a contest and award prizes for birds in various categories (e.g. most unique, most colorful, most like a real bird, etc.).

Books to Display or Book Talk

  • Various Origami and Craft Books
  • Books about Birds for inspiration

List of Supplies

  • Several copies of printed instructions for folding origami birds
  • Colored paper
  • Craft decorating supplies 

Incentives

  • Take home your origami bird
  • Optional contest – prizes for birds in various categories

Resources

  • Boursin, Didier. Origami Paper Animals. Toronto: Firefly, 2001. Print.
  • "Origami Birds." Origami-Instructions.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014. 
  • Mulatinho, Paulo. Origami: 30 Fold-by-fold Projects. Edison, NJ: Chartwell, 1995. Print.

Program Flyers, Poster, Advertisements, Bulletin Board Ideas, Templates, Rubrics, etc.

Hang examples of the birds in the craft area or throughout the library

 

If you have questions or comments for the Young Adult Round Table, contact the YART webmaster

Follow Us:

facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon



Resources

Academic Program

Science Journal (pdf)

Science Journal (powerpoint)

Voice Lesson

Imagery

Syntax

Active Program

Leadership Camp Flyer

Annotated Bibliography

Read-A-Likes

Self-Directed Program


If you have questions or comments for the Young Adult Round Table, contact the YART webmaster.

Follow Us:

facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this
Created on Mar 13, 2014 | Last updated July 15, 2015