I love introducing kiddos to authors. Whether it’s via Twitter, a new book or an actual author visit, helping students connect with the “real” people who write the stories or information they love is a great treat. Perhaps the best part is how special and important they feel when we send a question or comment to a writer and they answer. Ralph Fletcher is particularly special to my class as we have read both Marshfield Dreams and Fig Pudding by him this year (and he responds to all of our tweets!), but my students have also personally connected with Lisa Campbell Ernst, Maribeth Boelts, Marla Frazee (who I just realized illustrated Clementine!), Mary Casanova, Betty Birney, and also Kate Klise (who was just at our school this week!). The way they feel so special and important when an adult responds to their words is pretty priceless and immeasurably motivating. The way these writers have both encouraged and inspired my students to some of their best work is pretty amazing. 🙂
So when I heard that we were having an author visit shortly after Winter Break I was really excited….but then I heard the name of the author and thought how completely strange it was that I had never heard of her; I pride myself on being up on books, writers, reading and things of that nature (by the way, Twitter has been HUGE in helping me with this–you should totally check it out!). Luckily this was not a problem, because our amazing librarian, Mrs. Meihaus, works hard to introduce us to the writer and their books so that when they do come, we’ll be ready. 🙂
Our class read just a couple of her picture books (and since then I’ve found out she has written over 25 others!), and found that we really enjoyed her writing voice, as well as Sarah Klise’s (her sister is her illustrator) pictures. We tried out Shall I Knit You a Hat? and Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother of Earth, and when she was here she read us Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake.
Once she got here, we were all abuzz, excited to hear what she would tell us about herself and teach us about writing. A couple of friends took their Writers’ Notebooks to be sure to catch Ms. Klise’s smart words.
Basically, her presentation was a workshop where she taught us (2nd and 3rd grades) the necessary elements for writing a good story. She told funny stories, made us laugh, and most importantly got us involved in the show. We hung on her every word!
And, because authors are rockstars in our world, we had to take a minute for a photo opp! Thanks SO MUCH, Kate Klise, for taking time out to spend the morning with 2nd graders who are working to grow as writers and share their stories with the world!