Minna Anthony Common was born in 1882 in Watertown, NY. From the beginning, she was different from her peers. Her mother died within a month of her birth and grief-ridden, her father left, never to return again. Raised by her grandmother in Watertown, she was denied the opportunity to use her full tuition scholarship to St. Lawrence University and pursue her dreams. Despite all odds, she persevered to become a botanist, a nationally respected bird watcher, a New York Times author, a nature education advocate, and a literal blazer of trails. Today, the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center at Wellesley Island State Park serves as a reminder of her accomplishments.
Blazing A Trail: The Minna Anthony Common Story (Pocket Jennifer Publishing, June 2019) is a narrative non-fiction book that recognizes a north country woman whose vast contributions to nature education and botany have been virtually unexplored.
Immerse students in the music traditions of the Irish, one of North America’s largest ethnic populations. Across the Water: Teaching Irish Music and Dance at Home and Abroad gives general music teachers the tools to introduce the music and dance of Ireland while respecting the music’s cultural origins. An overview of the history of Irish traditional music provides a basic understanding of the political and cultural events that have influenced this musical style. Readers learn how Irish traditional music is viewed both in formal and informal schools in Ireland and find a literature review of current ethnomusicology and world music resources. Music teachers can follow the ready-to-use, 8- to 10-week music unit and use the accompanying CD full of authentic materials that the author collected while living in Limerick, Ireland. Recorded in the field, these materials will bring master teachers to the classroom with song, ceili bands, and Irish step and set dancing.