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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Favorite Sites
collected by Paul and Vicki
Barn Owls
The barn owl is a pale-faced, long-winged and long-legged owl with a short tail. When seen in flight, it's flat, heart-shaped white face and black eyes can look like a mask. Unlike the calls made by other owls, it does not "hoo hoo" but rather has a shrieking scream or a shrill twitter.
Barn Owl Trust
The Barn Owl Trust is a British conservation group dedicated to reversing the decline of "one of the most beautiful birds on earth." Their site is chock full of articles, web cams, photos to download as computer wallpaper, and fast facts ("Barn Owls hunt at night, and although they have very good eyesight, they rely mostly on their sense of hearing.") Advice on building a nest box is filed under "Information & Downloads." For coloring pages and craft projects, look for the kids section under "About the Barn Owl."
Barn Owls
"Barn owls are one of the world's most common birds, especially in temperate climates - yet many of us have never seen one of these awesome raptors because they live by night." Although the primary purpose of this site is to sell a DVD, there is plenty of free information here, as well as snippets of the video to enjoy. Visit for barn owl facts ("A barn owl is about the size of a small cat, but only weighs a pound."), and an excellent explanation of how the barn owl hunts, what he eats and how much he eats.
Kidwings Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection
Don't have an owl dropping pellets in your backyard for you? No worries! You can perform a virtual pellet dissection online at KidWings. Start with the great Pellet Information section ("Are Pellets Important?") then move on to read the directions about how to perform the virtual pellet dissection. Then, last but certainly not least, is the actual Virtual Pellet Dissection. Click, click, enjoy! Other worthwhile sections of the site are the Teacher Materials and the Owl Crossword and Word Search listed under Just for Fun.
Molly's Box: The Barn Owls of San Marcos
Molly and McGee are two barn owls that live in a nest box that transmits live video to the Internet. Their four owlets were born in March, and their live video stream has captured millions of viewers. This blog will point you to the Ustream video, and also provide lots of background information about barn owls in general, and this pair in particular. I was fascinated by the fact that their nest box sat empty for two years before McGee and Molly decided to settle down there and raise a family.
USDA: Barn Owl Next Box
This Department of Agriculture flyer includes plans and instructions for building a plywood backyard nest box for barn owls. "Barn owls do not build nests but lay eggs in holes in rotted trees, rocky cliffs, or bluffs. Alternatively, they may use structures with an appropriate cavity, including barns, silos, and abandoned buildings. You can encourage barn owls by building a nesting box and by establishing perching sites."
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How To Cook
One of the keys to healthy eating is cooking at home. With cooking skills, we are less dependent on processed foods, and able to include more fresh ingredients in our diet. Today's lessons should appeal to both experienced cooks bringing their kids into the kitchen, as well as more timid cooks who want to learn alongside their kids.

Better Homes and Gardens: Cooking Basics
With their long publishing history, it's not surprising that Better Homes and Gardens has a huge archive of cooking tips. This page provides a table of contents to dozens of beginner features, organized into categories such as Cutting Tips, Adjusting Cooking Times, Herbs & More, and Measuring Ingredients. They also have a Cooking with Kids section, with tips and lessons on Reading Recipes and Kitchen Safety. To find it, scroll down the page to the Related Topics section.

Kids Cooking Activities
The kids cooking lessons (look down the left-hand navigation menu to find them) are organized by ages from toddler to teen. For example, seven- to eleven-year olds are old enough to learn how to read recipes, read labels, use the microwave, help with the shopping list and use kitchen tools such as a potato masher or garlic press. For early readers, be sure to check out the great picture recipes. "A great idea is to print off the recipes and put them in sheet protectors. Place pages in a three ring binder and it can be your kids very own cookbook."
Learning How to Cook
"Conquer the kitchen and unleash your inner chef" with the tools and tips at Although not specifically for children, their step-by-step lessons will be helpful for either learning to cook or teaching your kids. For photo pictorials, click on Step-by-Step, and choose from categories such as Knife Skills, Fruits and Vegetables or Baking. Explore The 411 for PDFs that explain converting from metric (Decode That Foreign Recipe) or for a cooking terms glossary (What Does That Mean?)
Rouxbe: Online Video Cooking School
Rouxbe (pronounced "ruby") is a video training site that provides some of their videos for free (just sign up with your email address) and others only for paying members. The site offers "culinary school curriculum in high-definition, close-up video" with topics such as How to Slice Onions, Water Testing a Hot Pan, and Trussing a Poultry. Again, this is not specifically for kids, but the quality and depth of the instruction will certainly appeal to teens (and parents) who want to learn more about cooking.

Spatulatta: Cooking 4 Kids Online
Belle and Liv are two young teens who started cooking with their dad when they were two. They are now the hosts of Spatulatta, a video cooking site "where kids teach kids to cook." With 350 step-by-step videos, this is a whopper of a site! Visit Basic Skills for instruction on topics such as Weights & Measures, Separating an Egg, and Shredding Cheese. The Recipe Box features a drop down search box where you can find a specific meal (breakfast, lunch, snacks or appetizers), a specific holiday (Father's Day or Halloween), or an ingredient such as broccoli or chocolate.

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Margaret Wise Brown
Although "Goodnight Moon" is her best known work (it has sold four million copies since 1947), children's author Margaret Wise Brown (1910 - 1952) wrote more than a hundred children's before dying suddenly at forty two, while recovering from surgery. Her special magic was using simple language to tell a story from a child's point of view.

HarperCollins Children's: Margaret Wise Brown
Celebrating 100 years of Margaret Wise Brown, this HarperCollins sites features some of her bestselling books with printable bedtime activities, coloring games, a printable counting activity, and an audio snippet from "The Runaway Bunny". There is also a short Brown bio and a longer one of illustrator Clement Hurd. "The son of a prosperous New York mortgage banker, Hurd attended St. Paul's and Yale, and seemed destined to join his father's firm when, in the spring of 1931, he announced his plan to become an artist and sailed for France."

Hubbard's Cupboard: Goodnight Moon
Hubbard's Cupboard, a site for parents and teachers of preschoolers and kindergarten students, presents a five-day plan for teaching and enjoying "Goodnight Moon" with a group of youngsters. "Day One: Ask students to share with the class things that they do to get ready for bed (brush teeth, get a drink of water, put on pajamas, hug a family member, find their favorite stuffed animal, say goodnight, etc.)" The lesson plan includes a list of related poems, a few craft projects, and cross-curricular ideas such as studying nocturnal animals in science.

Margaret Wise Brown
Amy Gary, a publishing industry veteran, has found over 300 unpublished works by Margaret Wise Brown since 1990, which she is editing and bringing to market. Her site is an excellent biographical source, as it contains both a short and long bio, a photo gallery, and links to additional online articles about Brown. "Margaret loved animals. Most of her books have animals as characters in the story. She liked to write books that had a rhythm to them, so many of her books rhyme or repeat a word pattern."

Mother Goose Programs: Good Night Moon
This PDF is free sample from a larger curriculum that is for sale at the Mother Goose Programs site. The four-page Good Night Moon lesson plan includes bios of Brown and Hurd, and lots of suggested topics of discussion, such as using the book to talk about things that happen at night. "Look for the moon through the window every night. Talk about its size and shape and where it is in the sky. Make a night picture, using blue or black construction paper. Whenever you can, refer to a line or an idea from the a book your child likes."

State Theater of New Jersey: Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny
Created as a study guide for a puppet performance, this eleven-page printable activity packet will work great in a classroom, even without the original puppet show. It includes Meet the Creators (introductions to Brown and Hurd), Bunny Basics ("In addition to their prominent ears, which can measure more than four inches long, rabbits have long, powerful hind legs, and a short tail."), rhyming activities, and a Goodnight Moon coloring page.
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Students And Teachers Against Racism announces their new website that offers insight into the Native American perspective to teachers and educators.
Changing Winds Advocacy Center
Through presentations, classroom sessions, curriculum, fund raising, charitable works, and multi-media efforts, we seek to raise public awareness of the stereotyping, discrimination, racism and other unique situations facing Native Americans.
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Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.
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The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
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