Sample Presentations For Schools & Libraries

What would you like your students to know about writing? Do you want to save time for activities? Do you want me to read to them and answer questions? These sample sessions can be adapted to any timeframe, including a multiple-day writer-in-residence workshop, depending on the activities you ask me to present. Together, we’ll rev up the reading and writing fun.

Before It’s A Book

How does a book become a book? We’ll talk about brainstorming, subject selection, research and the writing process. Students get off their seats to help construct sentences and discover different ways a writer writes for specific audiences. We’ll also look at photography, illustrations, and other graphic elements, as well as the design, production, printing, and promotional steps that bring a book to your shelf.

Wild Words

We’ll start by talking about Noah Webster’s Fighting Words and my process for writing this picture-book biography. Students will hear how writing is not a straightforward process. It’s twisty-turny and messy in a good way. We’ll play a game that counts only made-up words (and players must define each word). Requires supplies: Writing paper and pencils. I’ll supply the game pieces.

Who’s A Writer? You, That’s Who!

After reading John Deere, That’s Who! with the students, I’ll share my process for researching and writing this picture-book biography. Students will learn about my extensive revision attempts as we discuss various ways to frame a nonfiction story. We’ll dig into other picture-books biographies, reading like writers to find the story structures, devices, and fun factors. We’ll brainstorm how to use these deconstructed mentor texts for our own writing.

Super Codes & S3cr3t M3ssag3s

This presentation combines a reading by the author (me!) and a student activity (you!). We’ll start by reading Storm Codes and talk about the many different kinds of codes around us. We’ll study how codes work and ways to use them to create our own secret messages. Requires supplies: Writing paper, scissors, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, or markers.

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