Category: Writers in the Schools

Poetry Friday: Poems of Hope and Fear by Young Authors

 I had a great time working with 4th-8th graders at Young Authors Conferences in May, and I wanted to share (with their permission) just a few of their poems. We imagined certain scenes/settings, and then the writers brainstormed all the things Hope and Fear could do in those situations. They

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Three Days With Fourth Graders: The Poems

Last week, I shared some of the highlights and the areas I needed to work on in my poetry residency with fourth graders. Today I want to share just a few of their poems. Most of these were first drafts, written in three minutes or less–we put the timer to

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Jeanette and Laura at Pinewood

Three Days With Fourth Graders: The Good

Back in April, my first trip was a three-day poetry residency with fourth graders. Four classes, an hour per day with each class. Most of my school visits are large-group presentations, so I hadn’t worked with classroom-sized groups on multi-day projects in ages. I had a great time with the

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Kids Write the Darnedest Things

At my school visit last week, one teacher brought me a set of thank you letters from her kids before I left the school that afternoon. Letters from the kids are one of the very best things about school visits. Here are just a few highlights of notes from second-grade

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Stampede! Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School

On the Road: A Red Balloon Author Event

On Saturday, I did an event for Stampede at the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, Minnesota. Some of you might have seen on Facebook that I was freaking out because I saw online that they ordered a ton of books. A ton. Most bookstore signings (my own and other

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I Was a Saint This Weekend (Only Temporarily)

Yesterday, I was the guest author for the St. Paul Saints minor league baseball game in St. Paul, MN. I read Stampede! Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School, of course. I was invited to participate by the Red Balloon Bookshop, a lovely children’s bookstore who partners with the team to promote

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Mail Call!

I got the nicest surprise in the mail last week–a big envelope full of thank you cards for a school visit I did recently! In April, I did two weeks’ worth of school visits in southwestern Minnesota (see a 30-second video here). My very last school of that trip was

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First Fan Mail

On my recent school visits, a student raised his hand and asked if I got lots of fan mail. I almost choked on my microphone. Um, no. I’ve gotten some nice emails from teachers telling me how much their kids liked a certain book or poem or something, but fan

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What I Did at the Young Authors Conference

I’m sharing this not because it’s some stellar presentation, but because it’s always so helpful to me when people share the activities they do at school visits. I wouldn’t copy anything exactly, but it gives me good ideas and let’s me know what’s realistic. At the Young Authors Conference, I

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Young Authors Conference: Individual Poems from May 21

I presented at a Young Authors Conference yesterday and worked with 4th and 5th graders all day at Anoka Ramsey Community College in Minnesota. What a great group! After some brainstorming and group writing, the kids wrote individual poems (cinquains) from the point of view of either a castle or

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