Pass The Poems Please
A workshop for children in grades
P-3 about the
stories and experiences that resulted in the writing of my books. The workshop focuses on where authors get their
ideas and how children can take notice of the possibilities around them to
discover their own themes, topics and ideas for writing.
A workshop for students in Grades
5-9, about the art and craft of writer's notebooks, with a modern twist.
On these visits I talk with children about my books and
the process involved in getting from idea to published work.
an integral part of these sessions is their link to environmental education
through my picture books, Somewhere and Touch the Earth and to peace
education through If Peace Is... Where time permits, students are involved
in making blank books and writing their own poetry.
Books as Bridges
Viewing parental involvement through the lens of
family literacy can be a daunting prospect for teachers. Yet when parents
are offered opportunities to become teammates, teachers gain access into the
hidden world of family literacy and identify the value of their students’
and their families’ crucial role. Linking classroom routines to home
literacy practices helps families expand and establish daily routines to
foster a reading habit and helps ‘level the playing field’ for marginalized
families. This workshop explores the use of children’s picture books as
touchstone texts for bridging school and home literacies. Effective ways to
begin the process of connecting home and school literacy in authentic ways,
will be discussed.
Parents and Children
Making Books Together
What better way to
bring parents and children together and promote literacy than to make books
together? In this hands-on workshop, you will learn everything you need to
know to create a successful event at your school. Everyday materials make it
easy and affordable and encourage families to continue making books at home.
Diaries, Memoir, and Journals
This workshop explores the use of personal experience
and memory to record events and reflect on experience in a unique and artful
way. In this workshop I teach the use of simple but effective scrap booking
techniques to decorate individual pages or entire journals along with tips
on how to get started or sustain a daily writing habit.
Teaching Writing, Writing Teaching
This is a writing workshop for teachers who want to
perfect their own craft as a writer. In order to be a successful teacher of
writing a teacher should be a writer herself. This workshop helps
participants develop a comfort level with writing and the writing process
both in and out of the classroom.
How to teach poetry with mentor
Using the Arts to Help Meet the Learning Needs of
This workshop explores how creative dramatics, music,
movement and art help children solidify their learning of language skills
and strategies. It also explores how hands on, interactive materials related
to the arts can enhance literature and language programs and be used as
effective learning tools. This workshop looks at how hands on learning
through the arts can serve as a means of "scaffolding" for all children, but
especially those children who are experiencing difficulty learning to read, write and comprehend.
explore how the arts provides children with story models and book language
to help them figure out how language works. Discussion will involve
how these activities provide vicarious experiences children can draw on when
encountering stories in the future and how they encourage the awareness of
symbolic representation and the ability to use representational skills.
This, in turn, enables children to decode words and figure out how letters
and words go together, as well as provides cues to help remember new words
and concepts. These kinds of activities also serve as a motivator for
the reluctant learner.
Picture It, Dads!
Getting the dads involved in children’s literacy
Children do better when dads are involved in
literacy-related activities, yet fathers remain an untapped resource.
Involving fathers and male-caregivers in activities they have helped design,
providing them with literacy materials and guided practice, along with a
cohort of support, helps them develop confidence in their abilities to
engage in such activities on their own and extends this involvement into
their child’s school years.
During this interactive session, I draw from
my work with dads and male caregivers in the Picture It, Dads! program, to show a variety of successful
projects designed to involve dads in children’s literacy development.
Materials, strategies and insights from the projects will be shared, along
with a new website aimed at dads and those who work with them.