School Visits and Presentations

 

Recommendations

“Thank you for the fabulous presentation at the Moscow Library last night! Your talk and slideshow were so engaging—the audience was clearly fascinated (as was I). I was also impressed with your knowledge of Iran—not to mention you ability to write books about the people and place.”

—Chris Sokol, Librarian

 

“You are a natural teacher with an extremely important message.  If our world is ever to experience peace, we must first see one another as people and we must learn to accept rather than judge other cultures.”

—Lorrie Swanger, Sprague High Shool

 

“We always ask about each speaker on our evaluation form. All the comments were positive (and they aren’t always). A few were, ‘excellent, great addition, dynamic, loved the presentation style, open to questions and discussion.'”

                      –Robin Michal Koontz, SCBWI Oregon Retreat Chairperson

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St. Nicholas’s National School
The Claddagh, Galway, Ireland

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Discovery School, Spokane, Washington

 

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California Middle School, Sacramento, California

 

Author Visits

Half day visits with up to two or three classes independently. Please allow a 15-20 minute break between sessions. If my visit runs through lunch, I would appreciate a school meal.

Single class or school book club presentation from 30 minutes to one hour.

Out of town visits must include travel and lodging.

Topics may include: Idea to book, how a picture book is made, the writing and revision process, including: examples of edited manuscripts, critique the author’s work-in-progress, research techniques for fiction and nonfiction, writing exercises and other activities related to the topic of each of my published or forthcoming books (environmental, multicultural, weaving, the arts, etc.)

Combination Author-Weaver Visits: These visits will be geared to one or two classes independently, and could include aspects of the author talks presented above with the second part of the presentation focusing on craft as related to my books. Author will provide most materials.

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Children at the American School in Doha,Qatar, performing the picture book The Shape of Betts Meadow with puppets depicting animals that live in the meadow.
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Book mobile
Students at book mobile and fifth grade English language arts class

Koc School, Istanbul, Turkey

 

Weaving and wool-related artistic projects fit in well with school curriculum. Presentations could be tailored for classes such as language, visual arts, social studies, or the physical sciences.

Language–exploration of phrases, poetry or literature that utilizes words or images from weaving such as the words “shuttle” and “fate”. Other possibilities include the discussion of symbolism and motif as language.

Physical Sciences– natural dyes for yarn involve chemistry; the exploration of wool types involves examining different sheep breeds’ crimp with a microscope; discuss how a spindle uses gravity to twist yarn; learning what types of fiber are strongest when wet and dry, and which type of wool is best for sweaters, rugs or yurts.

Social Sciences–Weaving as women’s work for 20,000 years, carpet-making cultures, exploration of homes made from textiles, nomadic cultures, symbolism in weaving which reflects cultural beliefs. General talks accompanied with slides on Ireland, Turkey, Iran, Qatar and Uzbekistan.

Art–Students may create their own work of art made with fiber: felt or woven wall hangings and bookmarks.

 

Visit My Home

Wooly Workshops – Children’s or adult book groups or class sizes up to eight students plus teachers/volunteers may visit my home for hands-on workshops. Students may see the carpet which inspired my novel, Anahita’s Woven Riddle, and learn all the steps involved in making a rug starting from the sheep.

–Meet my sheep, see what they eat and where they sleep
–Feel different types of sheep’s wool
–Discover what kinds of wool are best for sweaters, felting, rugs or yurts
–Learn how to wash and prepare wool for spinning and dyeing
–Dye your own wool sample
–See how a tapestry/rug loom works

Available late spring, summer or fall. Students must bring their own lunch or snack.

Perhaps this workshop could be an award for students who do extra credit or write an essay about why they would like to learn how a carpet is made or wool is spun into yarn.
Virtual Visits

On-line Interviews – I am happy to participate in on-line chats with schools, and arrange for author-student critiques via email.

Author-student critique session prices to be determined with teachers depending on the program designed. These programs may qualify for funding through your school’s technology grants.

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Artist’s Cabin – Palouse Clearwater Environmental Institute

Moscow, Idaho
Tips For A Successful School Visit

In Advance

–Have a copy of each of my books available in the school library.

–Visit my website so that children may become more familiar with the scope of my work. This applies to on-line visits, too.

Up to Two Months in Advance

–If you plan to offer a book signing, order my books through your local bookstore or my publishers. Please contact me if you have trouble getting them.

–Discuss with me what type of program you would like

Up to One Month in Advance

–Contact me to discuss the particulars of the program and planning the day’s schedule. Also discuss details such as the availability of LCD projectors, the art room or lab space, supplies such as scissors, buckets, burners, pots, microscopes, mural paper, paint, glue, etc., depending on the program you have chosen.

Up to One Week Ahead

–Contact author to review plans

–Remind and review plans with all teachers involved; double check on reserved rooms, equipment and supplies.

–Assign a volunteer to the book sale, if you have scheduled one

–Invite someone to eat lunch with me, I enjoy getting to know teachers and students

Day of Visit

–Please offer me bottled water in case I forget my own

–Relax and enjoy the interaction!

Post Visit

–Feel free to e-mail me after I leave, if the class has further questions. Please send one e-mail containing all of the students’ questions.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to the possibility of visiting with your students–at school, online, or in my home.