Wednesday, November 6, 2019

WRITING and ART PROJECTS REINFORCE READING: Preparing for an Author Visit

Cut-paper sloths and penguins circled the space for my slide presentation.
I am always impressed by the wonderful activities teachers and librarians do with their students as they prepare for an author visit. By the time the children come to my presentation they are excited to meet me and love hearing me talk about books they have already become familiar with.
Children listed their favorite penguin facts from my book A Penguin's World. Cotton balls decorate their cut out penguins.
On my recent trip to northern California for the Humboldt County Children’s Author Festival, I visited Arcata Christian School (K-8.) Every wall in the room where I presented was covered with projects the children had done after reading my books. From poems and reports to drawings and cut-paper art, the children’s creativity was evident everywhere.
Teacher Vicki Childress and her butterfly cake. Colored festival posters decorate the walls.
I thank all their teachers, especially Vicki Childress, for doing such a great job preparing the students. Vicki coordinated my visit and made a special cake decorated with a beautiful image of a painted lady butterfly. She told me that she looked at the photographs in my book, Butterflies in Room 6, to make sure every part of the butterfly was accurate. After lunch, I cut the first slice and the cake was just as delicious as it looked. Later in the day, the students all received a piece as well. I know that the children will have fond memories of “Author Day” not only because of the cake, but because of all the projects they did in connection with my books. Here are a few samples:
First and Second graders read Wiggle and Waggle and wrote about their favorite part.
The children read and illustrated all four of my Habitat books, using my cut-paper technique. These are some of their pictures inspired by A Day and Night in the Forest.
Mountain lion. Older students made drawings of their favorite animals and wrote pyramid poems (directions are on my website.)
Jaguar. Younger students wrote haikus about their favorite animal.
Transparent butterflies decorated the sliding door.
A coloring page with theme art from the festival helped to build excitement for the bi-annual event.

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