More than a few hands went up when I asked if any of them liked to write. What a great group!
I spent Saturday leading a workshop for a dozen Greenville Public School teachers titled “Read a Book, Make a Book.” The workshop was organized and paid for by the Greenville Arts Council. I appreciate all the help I got from Megan Hines, the education director for the arts council.
I taught three book forms: the instant book, the Wolfsnail on the Move Book (a scroll form), and the Fibonacci Folding Book (an accordion form). I shared the stories behind each of my books to give teachers a window into the creative process of a writer of nonfiction, and to empower them to lead their students through the same process.
We used Private Eye loupes to examine natural objects.
It was a cold, dreary day in the Delta so we didn’t spend time outside. We did a few exercises that teachers can use to prepare students for nature journaling outside, including the 20-second nature break.
A highlight of the day was making our Wolfsnail on the Move books.
I used some portions of the Digging Deep curriculum I developed this year with the Mississippi Museum of Art. I thank the museum education department’s Elizabeth Williams and Dorian Pridgen for sending copies of the curriculum, other MMA materials related to schools, and door prizes for teachers.
I spent a delightful hour with the Poindexter Park After School Club. I read my books, guided the students in making an instant book, and turned them loose to take macro photographs.
After just a few minutes of “practice” with private eye jewelers loupes, the students took turns taking photographs using the macro setting on my Canon elph. These are some of the best images. Others were blurry, but most of us have to take many, many images to get any useable ones. I look forward to seeing how the photography improves and to reading the books they’ll make.
Starting today, you can read my interview with Alison Hertz, an author, illustrator, and toy designer. She and I talked about how I create my nonfiction picture books.
The interview is part of the blog tour for the 2012 Writing and Illustrating for Kids (WIK) conference, where I’ll be leading two sessions: “Story + Photos = Winning Nonfiction” and “You mean I’m not finished? Creating Marketing and Educational Materials.”
WIK is organized by the Southern Breeze region of SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. This year’s WIK conference will be Oct. 20 in Birmingham, AL. It’s a great place to learn more about the children’s publishing industry, meet agents and editors, and connect with a supportive network of writers and illustrators.
Learn more about WIK here.
Read my interview at Alison Hertz’ blog.
Julie Owen and I taught our “Read a Book, Make a Book” workshop this week at the Whole Schools Summer Institute. We taught three book forms: the instant book, Wolfsnail On the Move, and the Fibonacci Folding Book.
I spent time yesterday morning with children at my neighborhood library, the Tisdale branch of the Jackson/Hinds Library. I read Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator, Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature, a work-in-progress titled “My New School,” and we all made instant books. Many students also used Private Eye loupes to look at snails.
I’m putting the finishing touches on a workshop that I’ll be presenting with Julie Owen at the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at USM in Hattiesburg. If you’ll be there for the first session Wednesday, join us for “Read a Book, Make a Book!” This photo is a sneak preview of the new book we’ll be talking about: Wolfsnail On The Move. In our workshop, we’ll also teach two other books for kids to make as responses to reading Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator and Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature.
I will also be signing books at the campus bookstore and hanging out with my librarian and writer friends. See the full schedule here.
Everyone was very friendly and helped me work through a few technical glitches. Thank you, Maggie Dickson, fourth grade project director; Faye Bruce, librarian; Gena Yarbrough, district art specialist; Belinda McKinion, assistant principal; and Coke Magee, principal.
The students asked great questions, and were wonderful guides through the school as I made my way from classroom to classroom to sign books.
Once again, I brought along a wolfsnail and some prey snails. I also debuted the wolfsnail app in its trial format. The kids loved seeing the snail video.
Several teachers took the pictures I am posting here. Thank you.
I had a lovely time on Friday at Madison Avenue Upper Elementary School, visiting with third and fourth graders. The star of the show was the wolfsnail I brought along. A few dozen students would have taken it home in a heartbeat.