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My Creations

PLUM LANDING

Games, apps, animations, live video, and activities to get kids jazzed about exploring science and nature outdoors.
I fell in love with science as founding editor of Scholastic's SuperScience magazine (1988-91). I'm versed in and comfortable about creating content and games in ALL the STEM topics.
I fell in love with science as founding editor of Scholastic's SuperScience magazine. I'm versed in creating content and games in ALL the STEM topics.

INANIMATE ALICE

Alice Field is an aspiring game designer and animator, an only child, who grew up traveling the world with her parents and sharing her adventures online.

I adopted the voice of Alice on Everloop (a social media site for tweens), writing digital journals, activities, games, and a steady stream of live, real-time posts.

I conceived, proposed, and created five interactive travel journals, told in the voice of Alice as she travels to Indonesia and Japan during her Gap Year.

In Episode 6: The Last Gas Station, I joined the creative team as narrative designer and created a design doc for the fictional world, themes, plots, and characters.

VIDEO GAMES

I'm a writer and narrative designer of video games, developing character profiles and back stories, designing the narrative arc and interactives, and integrating story with game play.

CHIEF JOSEPH

Throughout his life, Chief Joseph of the Wallowa band of Nez Perce struggled to keep his people's land in northeastern Oregon and to solve conflicts with white settlers.

His skillful efforts failed when the government allowed the white murderers of his friend to go free and soldiers ordered the entire Nez Perce population to move to a tiny reservation. A handful of vengeful warriors murdered 18 settlers, sparking the War of 1877.

To avoid bloodshed and certain defeat against a powerful force, more than 700 Nez Perce men, women, and children—many of them elderly and wounded—traveled 1,500 miles across several states, pursued by five units of U.S. soldiers.

Chief Joseph is best known for the famous vow, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."

Read his tragic story in my children's biography Chief Joseph: The Voice for Peace.

BONE DETECTIVE

Forensic anthropologist Diane France is a scientist who's leading a life of crime. That is, she's a bone detective who solves murder mysteries (and other mysteries) by finding and identifying human skeletons.

In her Colorado lab and traveling around the world, she has also "met" the bones of famous people in history, from Russian royalty to American outlaws and Civil War soldiers. Click on the title for more details.

SPACE ROCKS

Adriana Ocampo is a planetary geologist who has worked for NASA, the U.S. space agency, since she was a teenager. Her story begins in South America, where she grew up, but a passion for rocks and craters has led her all around the world. She explores Earth's past on foot, by leading field expeditions to seek out rocks that were blasted, melted, vaporized, and otherwise tortured by the explosive crash of an asteroid or comet.

Meanwhile, she investigates the fascinating features of Mars, Jupiter, and other planets through the electronic eyes of NASA's robotic spacecraft.

LETTER PERFECT ENGLISH

I've been teaching English to immigrants for more than a decade and developed Letter Perfect English as a simple but flexible teaching tool. My learners have played 100 games and activities with this unique picture card deck, for beginners to advanced students, suited for use with teens and adults. The games develop vocabulary, speaking, listening, grammar, storytelling, and writing skills.

CRIME SCIENCE

Crime Scene Investigation (ages 9 to 14, Lexile level 690, Accelerated Reader Quiz #112861) is the true story of the science, technology, and thinking skills behind collecting evidence at a crime scene. The book features interviews with crime scene investigators and real crime cases, including an art theft report that young sleuths can read for clues to "who dunnit."

Autopsies/The Body as Evidence (ages 9 to 14, Lexile level 690, Accelerated Reader Quiz #112860) explores how medical examiners treat corpses like a crime scene--searching every bit, inside and out, for evidence of how and when the person died. The last chapter features excerpts from an actual autopsy report and challenges readers to apply what they've learned to uncover a "smoking gun" clue to a murder.

Review by Booklist:
Young CSI fans will be engrossed by this title in the Crime Scene Science series. The well-balanced mix of case studies, scientific explanations, and descriptions of fieldwork offers a dynamic, behind-the-scenes look at crime-scene investigations. Hopping doesn't sensationalize; she focuses on facts: "a rotting corpse releases about 400 chemicals into the air." Even so, the graphic details and color photos may disturb some young people. A resource section of books and Web sites encourages further exploration.

Today's Weather Is . . . A Book of Experiments

Short features about wind power, making water from fog, city heat islands, and other topics motivate young children to explore weather with related hands-on activities. Accelerated Reader Quiz #43209.

MATH BOARD GAMES!

My top selling game book includes complete, highly motivating games for kids who like—and don't like—math. Grades 3-6.

I also write 101 Brain–Boosting Math Puzzlers and Ready, Set, Roll! Math Dice Games.

Wild Weather! Wild Earth!

Wild Weather titles
Tornadoes!
Hurricanes! (available in Spanish)
Lightning! (available in Spanish)
Floods!
Blizzards!

Wild Earth titles
Avalanche!
Earthquake!
Volcano!

These true tales of natural disasters, including the adventures of scientists who study them and the personal experiences of survivors, will engage young readers (ages 6 to 9, Lexile levels 530-670, Accelerated Reader levels 3.8-4.1 with quizzes available). Where and when do natural disasters strike? Why and how do these dangerous events happen? How can you stay safe?

Some titles are currently available in used editions only.

LANGUAGE ARTS GAMES

Noun Hounds and Other Grammar Games
Turn a dull subject into learning games that kids actually ask to play. For grades 3–6. This was my bestselling language arts book. It is currently available only in used editions.

Best-Ever Vocabulary Games
These classroom-tested games motivate kids to expand their vocabulary the smart way—with word roots, patterns, and a meaningful context. For grades 4-8.

First Dictionary Activity Book
Children's Dictionary Activity Book
Two activity books, one for primary grades (1–3) and one for upper elementary (4–6), teach users of the Scholastic Children's Dictionaries basic reference skills.

Yes You Can! Teach Shakespeare (available in used editions only)
PUBLISHERS: Contact me if you're interested in middle school activities, simulations, and hands-on projects for almost any Shakespeare play. This creative material would make a dynamite kid's book!

HISTORY GAMES AND PLAYS

Great American History Games
A classroom-tested collection of motivating games cover important history topics. Grades 5 to 8.

15 Primary Source Activities: American History
Plays, readings, reenactments, simulations, and other activities based on primary source text and photos. Grades 5 to 8.

MARS 2020

This fun family board game received rave reviews from customers at Amazon.com, a positive review and rating at boardgamegeek.com, and numerous awards in the toy industry. It's endorsed by astronaut Jack Lousma.