Have you scheduled a school visit?
Here are some tips to help you and your colleagues make this day super successful!
Prepare Your Students (some possibilities)
- Read some of my books! For my poetry books, teachers or media specialists might share the entire book with primary grades. For older students, perhaps teachers will pick out just specific poems that work well with this age range.
- Visit my YouTube channel and share book trailers.
- Share some audio clips of me reading my own poems.
- Order copies of the author’s books, within your budget, for your school library.
- Plan book talks and art projects based on some of my titles.
- Post signs around the school to spread the word that a special guest will be visiting soon. Here are some mini-posters about my visit that you can print and display:
- Help students brainstorm some questions they want to ask about books or writing.
- Print out and distribute signed “Calling All Readers” bookmarks so that each student can have something that is “signed by the author!” (especially handy if you plan to sell books in conjunction with my visit)
- Check out the activities available for my rhyming nonfiction books and choose some to do with your students. I’ve also got some BookSpeak! resources available.
Publicize the Event (and more possibilities)
- Create a small committee of faculty, staff, students, and PTO/PTA members. Brainstorm fun and easy ways to promote the event. A few possibilities: Send home a newsletter. Make posters. Create a book display. These are all easy ways to build some buzz.
- Contact the publisher and see if they will send you any promotional materials.
- Send a press release to the local paper about the visit. Arrange to have photos taken. (Please note that most authors, including me, do not allow visits to be videotaped. For me, brief video clips of 5-10 minutes are fine, though.)
On the Day of the Visit (pretty please)
- Here’s a short intro you can use when you introduce me to students–if you like! If you have something else in mind, that’s totally fine :>)
Laura Purdie Salas grew up in Florida dreaming of being a veterinarian. Boy, was she surprised to end up in Minnesota writing kids’ books–more than 125 of them! How did that happen? Which of her books have been published in other countries and languages? Why is her dog so drooly, and how does he inspire poetry? Let’s hear Laura Purdie Salas spill the beans about reading, a writer’s life, ideas, and creativity.
- Please have someone available to meet me and help get set up. Some ice water and a few minutes to freshen up would be wonderful so that I can be in peak form for that first session! Please have the check ready upon arrival, unless you’ve discussed otherwise.
- Please follow the schedule agreed upon in the contract. Different ages and sizes of audiences require very different presentations, and I really work hard to reach student and give them a terrific experience. When the schedule/audience is different from what I planned on, that often results in a less than wonderful experience for everyone. And then I feel really bad not to have delivered amazing interaction and content for your students. Also, please make sure the room and any A/V equipment is set up.
- Water bottles — so much appreciated!
Your enthusiasm creates great events. On behalf of visiting authors, thank you!
Finished With a School Visit?
After my visit is over, I’ll send you to a page that will have links to lots of extension materials, including teaching guides, activity sheets related to my books, poetry activities, photopoetry sheets, and more. I’ll also ask for an evaluation from you, because I’m constantly working to improve my school visits and give elementary educators exactly what they’re hoping for.