Even though I was a troublemaker when I was in grade school, and thus I do get a little nervous around principals, I still love visiting schools and talking with students about creating books. During my school visits I talk about the various stages in writing and illustrating a book, from the initial idea for the story to the finished manuscript and artwork. I emphasis the importance of making revisions to my rough drafts and how those changes make the book stronger. I also share stories about my earliest inspirations and how I became an author and illustrator. And, of course, I will do some drawing demonstrations. This is a fun, interactive session with the students. I will sign and donate the drawings to the school.
Grade levels: K through 6th grade
30 minutes for K and 1st Grade
50 minutes for 2nd – 6th Grade (includes Q&A)
Please allow at least 10 minutes between sessions.
I can give 3 to 4 presentations a day. Groups can vary from 20 to 250 students.
- Projector or SMART board for my PowerPoint. * I will bring my laptop and adapters.
- If using a projector, I will need a screen or white wall in a room that can get fairly dark.
- Please designate one room for all sessions.
- Microphone (preferably hands-free) and speaker if the session size is larger than 70 students.
- * I will bring everything else I need including an easel, drawing pad, and markers.
I’ve had many wonderful school visits. Here are a few things that I think helped make them successful:
- Familiarize the students with some of my books before my visit.
- Let teachers know about my website and activity sheets (see below).
- Designate one room for all sessions. Libraries are my favorite – It’s always nice to be surrounded by books!
- Try not to have different grade levels in a session. Of course, 2nd and 3rd grade together is fine, but maybe not 1st and 4th. I gear each presentation to the specific grade level.
- For the Q&A time, consider having students write down questions in advance.
Note: Photographs are fine, but sessions may not be recorded.