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Sarah L. Thomson: Creating Worlds to Explore
Presentations - School Visits
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Around the Neighborhood: Fun with Song and Story
The students join in singing Around the Neighborhood, a re-imagined version of the classic folksong “Over in the Meadow.” Then we talk about animals children see in their own neighborhoods, and create a very simple book that can be left in the classroom. A handout to take home encourages parents and children to take a walk together and count the animals they see.
Gorillas and Tigers and Sharks...Oh My!
After reading my I-Can-Read title Amazing Snakes, I discuss how I write nonfiction. Younger students get their bodies moving with some animal activities; older students work together to organize 4-6 facts into a “mini-book.” Great for units on the environment or conservation. (30-45 minutes)
In Abraham Lincoln’s Words
Discover how to write a biography, from choosing a subject to selecting the right details to organizing material. Students discover how to look for the emotions and personality behind the bare facts of history. Great for units on U.S. presidents or history. (45 minutes)
Supernovas and Dinosaurs
After reading from my nonfiction picture book Extreme Stars, I discuss the process of writing nonfiction and the students and I work together to create our own nonfiction double-page spread about dinosaurs. Focusing on the selection and organization of information, this workshops helps students understand how good nonfiction works. (45 minutes-1 hour)
Imagine: A Poetry Workshop
After reading my poetry collection Imagine a Night, I discuss the writing process with an emphasis on editing and revision. The students write their own poems and try revising them. Great for poetry units and creative writing classes. (45 minutes)
Hatching the Egg: A Fiction Workshop
After reading from my middle grade fantasy, Dragon’s Egg, I talk about myth and folklore and how they can be used to inspire stories. The students and I pick a mythical creature (perhaps a unicorn or a mermaid) and discuss what we already know about it and how an author might change existing legends to come up with a idea that’s fresh and original. The students try a writing exercise about an imaginary animal of their choice. (45 minutes)
Mercy: A Fiction Workshop (with a little bit of history)
After reading from my YA fantasy, Mercy: The Last New England Vampire, I talk about New England folklore and the true story of Mercy Brown, whose tragic death at the age of 19 led to the writing of Mercy. The students and I talk about ghost stories and frightening folktales, why they have such influence over us, and how writers can use them to create stories that connect with readers on many levels. Then the students brainstorm ideas for their own ghost story. Perfect for creative writing classes, history projects, and Halloween. (45 minutes-1 hour)
All presentations allow time for Q&A.
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
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