Sample Visits

The Henniker Community School, Henniker NH

Henniker is a school for kids, K-8.  In anticipation of my visit, school librarian Carol Sweny worked hard to evoke her students’ interest and enthusiasm in many different ways.  First she started by putting up a poster about me and pictures of my book covers.

Here is part of the flyer Carol made to pass around to the teachers.

As you saw on the schedule, grades K through 4 saw a presentation based on my book On This Spot, which takes New York City back in time to when it was home to forests, glaciers, dinosaurs, towering mountains, even a tropical sea.  This presentation included, among other things, kids taking many different objects and sorting themselves into a timeline.

Carol asked all the teachers to have their classes use timelines to supplement normal learning.  They did so in different and wonderful ways. When I arrived, the school’s corridors were festooned with examples of this interesting way to think about time and history.

The kindergarteners made timelines of their days.

First graders created a timeline that would record a whole year of learning month by month.

Second graders made illustrated timelines.

Here is a new way for a fourth grade class to think about the making of the Statue of Liberty.

 The sixth grades’ timeline of the presidents was perfectly timed since my visit occurred shortly after the election in November.

The seventh graders learned research and computer skills making a timeline of their hometown’s history that stretched down an entire hallway.

The eighth grade’s timeline cascading down the stairway brought their study of the Harlem Renaissance to life.

The JFK School, Boston MA

Sometimes it takes a village and when an enthusiastic teacher, Kathy Wright, an author, and two nonprofits (The Foundation for Children’s Books and 826) team up, we can make educational magic.  Of course, this great idea can be scaled down to fit any classroom.

The 5th graders at JFK made a time capsule that we imagined would be found and opened in the year 3000.  Each of them wrote about an object that was important to them or to our times.  What would these future archeologists think of our described artifacts: a penny, for example, a pencil, the United States of America?  It was a very thought-provoking project.  Thanks to the Foundation, I came in to talk about the steps of doing a nonfiction project–from research to revision–and did workshops to help the kids understand how to liven up their writing. (I also wrote the intro to their entries.) 826 supplied tutors so there were enough hands on deck to give the kids’ writing individual attention and also printed their entries onto neat cards.  And then…

We had a ceremony and read our entries.













Then we said goodbye to our sealed creation, and buried it in the schoolyard. Don't tell anyone, we want it to stay there for 1,000 years.


The Lincoln Street School, Exeter NH

The Lincoln uses Edmodo to host their online book clubs for kids.  Taking advantage of my visit, school librarian Helen Burnham organized a lunch so students from the 3rd grade group could talk to the author before they read my Ultimate Field Trip 4: A Trip to the 1800s and Cora Frear, a nonfiction book from my Brave Kid series that also took place in the same time period.

The book group encourages the kids to read and the online chat furthers their technical skills in an appealing social media format.  A win-win-win!  Here are a few excerpts from their sessions: