Sample Sessions For Young Writers
Check out the sample sessions below. Each one can be leveled for your group and adjusted to fit your timeframe, including a multiple-day writer-in-residence workshop, depending on the activities you ask me to present. Roll up your sleeves, sharpen your pencils, and let’s get scribbling!
- Ages 6 and up
- Teacher or organization representative must be available on site
- References available
- MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults (Hamline University), Minnesota substitute teaching license and background check on file
We’ll start by talking about Noah Webster’s Fighting Words and my process for writing this picture-book biography. Students will hear how writing is not a straightforward process. It’s twisty-turny and messy in a good way. We’ll play Unscrabble, a game that counts only made-up words (and players must define each word). Requires supplies: Writing paper and pencils. I’ll supply the game pieces.
Who’s A Writer? You, That’s Who!
After reading John Deere, That’s Who! with the students, I’ll share my process for researching and writing this picture-book biography. Students will learn about my extensive revision attempts as we discuss various ways to frame a nonfiction story. We’ll dig into other picture-books biographies, reading like writers to find the story structures, devices, and fun factors. We’ll brainstorm how to use these deconstructed mentor texts for our own writing. Requires supplies: Writing paper and pencils. I’ll provide the rest.
Postcard Flash Fiction
Let your creativity wander to faraway places to help you write fun short-short stories. Using actual postcards from around the world for inspiration, you’ll write flash fiction that combines all the usual literature elements—setting, plot, and character—in less than 500 words. We’ll talk about what makes a story and how to give it flair without a lot of fluff. Where will your writing go? Requires supplies: Writing paper, scissors, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, or markers. I’ll bring the postcards.
We’ll read a picture-book biography mentor text and talk about what information usually appears in biographies. Then, you’ll write a BioPoem about someone in your family. Bring a photocopy picture of your subject and any other research—the person’s birthday, schools, pets, favorite colors, etc. It’s a fun way to honor your mom, dad, brother or sister, or anyone else in your family! Requires supplies: Writing paper, scissors, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, or markers.