Kids (and their teachers and parents)
It is my greatest pleasure to hang out with kids, andÂ so I have a bunch of really fun/creative/ridiculous programs I’ve designed for a range of ages.Â Â (be warned that this sometimes involves a great deal of giggling and also some silly-hat-wearing, so if you are hat-phobic or have just had delicate oral surgery you should probably not attend).
I’m happy to meet with a small group for an intimate afternoon of writing exercises/workshops, charades, or cooking classes, but I’m equally pleased to embarrass myself in front of larger groups (in my pajamas, even), for readings or assemblies.Â Once upon a time I wanted to be an actress, and nothing makes me happier than twirling, projecting, and singing show tunes at the drop of a hat.Â I am widely known for my willingness to answer any question.
***BRAND NEW PROGRAM! Join the PENNY DREADFUL BOOK CLUB! For 2010, I’m trying out a crazy new idea, a book club.Â Essentially, it works like this– you and your group of kids (class, library book club, bookstore regulars, homeschool co-op, etc) pick any five of Penny Dreadful’s 20 favorite books to read (Penny is a BIG reader). Contact me and tell me which books you’ve chosen, and I’ll supply my own special study guides for each of them (along with bookmarks and a poster for your library/store/classroom).Â You simply read and discuss the books you’ve chosen, and then I’ll come and join you for your discussion of the sixth book– Penny Dreadful! I will do this FREE OF CHARGE for groups of ten or more kids within driving distance, or for the cost of transportation/hotel if I must travel.Â I’m doing this–waiving my fee–because the books on the list are books I love personally, and the idea of kids reading them makes me so happy!Â Details to come as publication date draws closer.
For the picture book set, I offer a program called “Inside the Creepy Classroom.” Kids will help me (or rather, I will help them) write a book about their environment, using a kind of (Slidy-Diner inspired) mad libs format. We’ll take details from the room and embellish, adjectify, and creepify them. This teaches a number of things– including show, don’t tell, the importance of imagery and detail, and the need for outside-the-box thinking.Â Afterwards,Â I’ll send a digital draft of our book to the teacher, so that as a followup lesson, the kids can illustrate the book. Photocopied, it makes a great take-home gift for mom and dad, or bound copies can even be sold to mom and dad asÂ a class fundraiser. (heh heh)
For all ages, I offer a poetry workshop class (different at each level) that uses incorporates different readings and assignments, depending on the group.Â Please ask me about my poery classes!
For large groups, I offer a more traditional author-talk assembly called “Rich and Famous”, about how I decided in the fourth grade to become an author for kids, and then (after a long and windy road) did just that!Â About how the books I made as a kid (bound in wallpaper scraps) were just as much books as the ones I write today. And about how everyone is a writer.Â I promise this is goofy and fun…
Last of all, I’d like to say that I’m happy to cultivate new programs to suit your students.Â We are ALL different,Â and some groups need something special, tailor-made. If you work with a population that has any special needs or wishes, email me and let me know.Â I’ll put on my thinking cap!
I’m also in the process of working with educators to devlop study guides for all of my books. Please email me and request a guide!
And whether or not you are able to invite me for a visit, let me take this opportunity to say THANK YOU!Â Thank you for teaching. You are doing the most important work there is. I bow down before your patience, dedication, and vision.