Author Ellen Jackson

EARTH MOTHER by Ellen Jackson


Earth Mother awakens and spends the day visiting the creatures of the Earth. As she crosses the landscape, she stops to listen to different creatures tell about their lives and their problems. Subtle as the story is, young children will understand and enjoy it immensely.


Publisher's Weekly, starred review, July, 2005.
Kirkus, starred review, August, 2005.
Booklist, starred review, August, 2005.
Henry Bergh Children's Book Award, Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 2005.

Earth Mother


1. If you walked around the Earth at the Equator, you would have to travel 24,901.5 miles to get back to where you started.

2. If you took a short cut and traveled in a straight line through the center of the Earth, you would go nearly 8,000 miles.

3. Only 30% of the Earth's surface is dry land.

4. About 70% of the Earth's surface is covered with water.

5. The highest point is Mt. Everest, which is 29,029 feet (8,848 meters) above sea level.

6. The lowest point on land is the Dead Sea, which is 1312 feet(400 meters) below sea level.

7. Of all the water in the world, only about 3% is fresh water (the kind you can drink).


What is Earth made of? Much of our planet is covered with dirt or soil. Soil is made from rocks that are slowly ground into smaller particles by friction, temperature changes, freezing water, and chemical action. When rocks grind against each other, small pieces are scraped off. Changes in temperature, as well as rain and ice, can crack rocks and cause them to break into smaller and smaller pieces.

A stream of water can also cause rocks to tumble around and grind against each other. Rocks found in a river or stream are usually smooth and rounded because of this grinding action. Glaciers that moved across the United States many years ago ground up huge quantities of rock. Soil is also made out of dead plants, the bodies of dead insects and animals, and tiny microbes and fungi.


Most of the water on our planet is in the ocean. Here are some interesting facts about the oceans:


1. The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest ocean in the world. The word “pacific” means calm or peaceful. But the Pacific Ocean isn’t a peaceful place. Thousands of volcanoes rise out of its waters, and typhoons and hurricanes rage across its surface.

2. The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest body of water in the world and covers one-fifth of the Earth's surface. The Atlantic Ocean’s name refers to Atlas, who was a figure in Greek mythology.

3. Seawater contains a small amount (3.5%) of salt. Most of the materials that make up this salt came from rocks located on land. Water and acids dissolved this material, and rivers carried it to the sea.

4. Seaweed is a large type of algae that grows in the ocean near the seashore. Many different kinds of seaweed can be eaten and are rich in vitamins and iodine.

5. All life in the ocean can be divided into three groups:

PLANKTON consist of all the creatures that drift and float and rely on the ocean currents to carry them from place to place, such as tiny plants.

NEKTON consist of all the animals that swim on their own without help from the currents, such as sharks and eels.

BENTHOS consist of animals that live on or near the sea floor, such as starfish and clams.

6. The blue whale is the largest animal known to exist on sea or on land. Adults weigh as much as fifty elephants. The bluefin tuna swims the fastest: fifty-five miles per hour.

7. Seawater contains lots of gold. If this gold could be mined and divided up, every person on Earth would get nine pounds (four kilograms) of it.

8. Gravity from the moon and the sun cause the tides. The moon has the greatest effect because it is closer to Earth than the Sun. Most waves are caused by the wind.



Glue a few pumpkin seeds onto half a paper towel. After the glue dries, wet the paper towel, fold it in half, and put it in a plastic sandwhich bag. Hang or tape the bag to window. The seeds will sprout and start to grow.

Potato Plants

You will need a few organically grown potatoes. Have children circle the eyes on each potato. Punch drainage holes in a gallon milk jug or juice container and fill with bagged potting soil. Cut the potatoes into 1 1/​2 inch pieces that contain at least two eyes. Put the potato pieces into the soil about 2 inches deep with the eyes facing up. Cover the pieces with soil. Water and set in a sunny area. The potato plant will grow quickly.

Earth Day Treat No. 1

Mix Jello according to directions. Pour into glass custard cups (or glass bowl. Let it chill a bit, but before it sets--mix gummy worms, bugs, and fish into it to make a swampy treat!

Earth Day Treat No. 2

Pour chocolate pudding into custard cups or little glass bowls or small terra cota pots (unused). Add gummy worms so they are half in and half out of the "mud." Sprinkle cookie crumbs on the top. Add a candy or lollipop flower.

Write A Letter!

Suggest that children pick an envirnomental problem that they would like to see solved. Then have them write to one of their elected representatives. (Addresses can be found on this web site's blog under the tag "Write!")

Make A Butterfly Card

You can make a butterfly card from construction paper by following the directions here.