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Mrs. Pittaluga from Clinton MO is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

Learning Earth Science Through Young Adult Literature

My students need 30 copies of the book Ashfall by Mike Mullin and a way to protect the books as they learn about the impact of catastrophic natural events.

  • $353 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Middle school students are a rare breed and mine are no different! I teach in a rural school district and have a diverse group of students who come from a variety of backgrounds. My students look to school as a place where they can express themselves both in and out of the classroom.

Dynamic and creative, passionate and inquisitive; my students welcome the opportunity to learn science through unique and challenging ways.

They thrive off the unconventional so I must also be unconventional in my approach to teaching them. This is accomplished through a variety of learning activities that range from inquiry-based labs to reading science fiction novels.

As the only 8th grade science teacher in my school, I have the formidable task of preparing my students for high school level science. I teach a variety of scientific concepts which allows students to excel in areas that showcase their strengths. By building strong relationships with my students, I am able to find those strengths and then show students that they are capable of doing amazing things.

My Project

One of the ways that I try to create unique learning experiences in science is through reading a science fiction novel. I am an avid reader and believe that it is important for students to see how literature can be incorporated into subjects other than English. By reading a young adult novel in science, students are exposed to more difficult concepts in a way that becomes relatable to them.

With the novel Ashfall, my students will be reading about how humanity survives following a cataclysmic natural disaster.

They will be learning about the science behind Earth’s geologic processes and the data that is used to predict future catastrophic events. Students will also learn about the effects of an eruption including the changes in weather, landscape, and the interruption of modern conveniences. Because my school is located in the Midwest, this novel is particularly relevant to my students since it is also set in the Midwest. Many of my students work on family farms and much of this story addresses the issues that farms and ranches must face as a result of the eruption.

My goal with this exciting and adventurous story is for students to see that earth science is not boring and trivial, but rather is important for understanding how the planet we are living on works and why we need to be aware of our world.

Mrs. Pittaluga
Grades 6-8
More than half of students from low‑income households

This project will reach 130 students.

8 donors have given to this project.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Ashfall (Ashfall Trilogy) • Amazon Business $7.53 30 $225.90
Con-Tact Brand Clear Covering Self-Adhesive Semi-Transparent Privacy Film and Contact Paper Liner, 18'' x 9', Clear Matte • Amazon Business $7.98 5 $39.90

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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


7 Donors


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Project Activity

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