A Few Snaps from School Visits: A Typical Day on an Elementary School Visit

There’s nothing particularly outstanding here, but I thought I’d throw up a few snaps from recent school visits and walk you through a typical arrangement.

12809566_10153214560221534_2166136738651197185_n

 

Yes, that’s truly “a good sign” for any author visit. It is welcoming and shows that the school has invested time and thought into the visit. I’ve said it a thousand times: Authors don’t do school visits, schools do author visits.

IMG_1048 (1)

 

I visit elementary schools and middle schools. Next week, for example,I’ll even be speaking to 380 students in one packed auditorium, grades 7-12. When I visit traditional K-5 elementary schools, I try to arrange to meet with K-only groups for shorter, more intimate visits. Then I’ll see groups of grades 1-2, grades 3-4, and grade 5 only. My material and message seems to fall in line with those groupings.

 

IMG_1057

 

When I see grades 5-only, it allows me to include in my presentation a bit about Bystander and bully-themed issues. It’s a little older, more mature, a little deeper.

 

IMG_1046 (2)

 

For K-only, I’ve learned that it’s best to sit in a chair, speak softly and gently. I tell kids how the bear in Wake Me In Spring reminds me of my father, snoring in his big, comfortable chair.

 

IMG_1059 (1)

 

Reading from the first chapter of Bystander. I’ve pretty much got that thing memorized.

 

James Preller author visit1

This is a grades 3-4 group, where they are extremely enthusiastic about “Scary Tales.” We talk a lot about the creative process here, building a story. The photo on the screen is of a swamp. I’m talking about the setting of one of my stories, one of the basic building blocks of any story: where, who, what; setting, character, plot. For grades 1-2, I tend to center it around Jigsaw Jones and writing from real life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *