On the morning of October 12th I drove through a massive downpour to reach Dobbs Elementary in Rockwall, Texas. I don’t like to unload my posters, boxes, and displays in the rain, but thankfully the school had a covered walkway that I could park very close to. About 230 Pre -K through second grade students were inspired to try creating their own stories. Many thanks to the librarian, Norma Terrell, for investing so much time preparing the students for my visit. The children were divided into three groups:
1st Grade 8:20-9:00
Kinder & Pre-K 9:10-9:55
2nd Grade 10:05-10:55
After quickly signing a few books for teachers and students, I drove to Springer Elementary School for an afternoon author visit in the same district (Rockwall ISD). Thankfully the rain storm ended before I left Dobbs, so unloading was not a problem at Springer.
Kindergarten and 1st Grade 12:45 PM – 1:20 PM
2nd and 3rd Grade 1:45 PM – 2:30 PM
Over 150 students in each group (around 320 students total) squeezed into the library to hear me talk.
My husband, Matthew Shane Bronson, handled the book sales.
Friday morning (October 14th) I visited Redeemer Montessori School in Irving, Texas. The first two groups met in the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer community room. After speaking to two groups of about 25 children each, I quickly moved my displays to the school’s main building, Story Hall. The last presentation was in the 4th through 6th grade classroom.
8:45 – 9:25 AM Kindergarten
9:35 – 10:20 AM 1st – 3rd Grades
10:30 – 11:20 4th – 6th Grades
The intimate setting with only about 15 students allowed for great one-on-one interaction with the children. After the program, the students were eager to share the illustrated stories they created for a recent class project. Although this was one of the smallest schools I’ve ever visited (only ~65 students total), it was certainly one of the most rewarding!
AM Wednesday, October 12, 2011
PM Wednesday, October 12, 2011
AM Friday, October 14, 2011
This afternoon I spoke to about 330 kindergarten and first grade students at Jackson Primary School in Atlanta, Georgia. The students were divided in to four groups:
My visit was sponsored by the Jackson Primary PTA as part of their fine arts program, so today’s presentations focused specifically on illustrating picture books. Although each presentation was only thirty minutes, I packed in lots of great information about…
Storyboards, miniature “practice” books (a.k.a “dummy” books), and final art.
Using colored pencils, watercolor paint, cut-outs, collages, and/or real objects in art.
Artists research the animals or settings they want to draw by checking out books from the library and using video or digital cameras to take pictures.
I also shared different drafts of my drawings. Students saw firsthand that sometimes shapes and colors do not look right the first time I draw it. I draw and redraw the pictures then I test each picture on my audience, both children and adults. If my audience does not understand the picture, I draw it again. Practice, practice, practice!
Many thanks to the librarian, Teresa Webb, for investing so much time preparing the students for my visit. Ms. Webb read Tiny Snail, Polliwog, and Sea Horse, run! to the children. Thank you Jackson Primary PTA for inviting me to your school!
Karen Yuen with The Old Schoolhouse Magazine posted an outstanding review for “Sea Horse, run!” on the magazine’s website today.
Here’s an excerpt:
“I highly recommend this book for its amazing artwork and educational value. This should be a must-read for every elementary student studying oceanography. You’ll be glad you read this book, especially in preparation for an aquarium visit!” (Read the full review.)
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (TOS) reaches out to homeschoolers across the country through their website and 30,000 print issues produced each quarter. Each issue is packed with tips, information, and resources for homeschoolers.
Thank you, Karen, for the wonderful review!