It just so happens that I live in the area where the largest population of lemurs in captivity reside, the Duke Lemur Center.
My second year in North Carolina, I was on a walk with my friend, Kim, founder of ArtzHub.
*This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.*
She was telling me about these adorable, energetic, silly creatures native to Madagascar. Just a few weeks prior, she had taught a group of children how to draw a series of lemurs. The classes took place at the Duke Lemur Center here in North Carolina. Later, the center held an auction and actually bought one of the children’s drawings to hang in their facility!
Over the course of many walks and talks, we learned that the DLC was lacking good sound children’s books that conveyed accurate non-fiction information about lemurs. Kim and I decided to write and publish a non-fiction book about lemurs (using the children’s illustrations) that could be sold in their gift shop.
In 2011, I drafted the very first text for the book LEMURS! and then in 2013 officially published it. It sold in the lemur center for a solid 2 years before I realized it desperately needed an updated 2nd edition….a project that rests patiently at the back of my mind. If you feel so kind, gracious and interested to purchase the very first edition, you can do so on Amazon*.
Art and Writing Camps
The writing of this book is what gave Kim and I the idea to start art and writing camps at the DLC. The staff there so kindly agreed to partner with us and let us do so! We wanted to give opportunities to children to be authors and illustrators all the while learning about the world and their environment. Part of the partnership is that we incorporate accurate information about lemurs and the DLC’s mission into our lessons.
Visit Your Local Lemurs!
These writing camps in turn led to me launching this blog, where teachers can use the lessons in their own settings. If you have a zoo or facility near you that houses lemurs, I’d strongly encourage you to plan a visit so the children can learn more. Then, use any of the lemur prompts as a follow up activity!
Fiction Mixed with Facts
Many of the writing prompts that I’ve taught and will be posting are fictional. Some are even entertaining. But, in each lesson, I’ve made it a point to incorporate accurate facts about the specific lemur that we’re focusing on. Other prompts focus on the importance of conserving these fascinating, unique and endangered animals.
The lemur prompts that have been posted so far are:
*All background knowledge and information needed for these prompts came from the staff and tours at the Duke Lemur Center.*